By Stephen Embler
February 2, 2014
Luna, the name given to the moon in days long past and long forgotten. She perched on her pedestal of darkness and shone forth a beacon of mystery. Inspiration. Hope. Beauty. The moon took up the sky as if it were about to breach the Earth’s atmosphere and encompass the world in moonlight. This close, it appeared as if every crater and imperfect blotch which made up the immortal perfection of the moon could be seen, with its innocent grayish blue light that shone cold and pure across the world.
The boy dug his feet into the cold sand, each grain heavy with the water rolling in from the expanse of ocean which played out in rivulets and swirls of motion in front of him. The silent figure gazed into the heat of the burning logs meticulously stacked in front of him. The moon bathed him in its light and seemed forever on the verge of cradling the boy in a lover’s caress.
A persistent breeze rolled off of the body of water and caused the fire to gut and spit in seeming irritation at the moon’s persistent presence, but the boy paid no mind to the fire or to the moon or the thick curls of hair which battered and swept to and fro across his face. The boy’s wet eyes were glazed over as he recalled a lifetime of familiarity with the elusive moment and felt the weight of those experiences upon his soul. At times the burden of experience lie beneath him and buoyed him above the turbulence that could and will be found in the day-to-day tedium and at other times it lie before him, to shelter him from the storm. On rare occasions such as this, the weight of the world had found its way to the boy’s shoulders and all that there was to be done, was to wait and reminisce. Patience was key.
The boy’s memories took him back to a rainy day on a road to the west coast. San Francisco was the destination and after consecutive days of driving for 12 hours at a time, he and his three companions were exhausted and on the brink of delirium. A loaded-down blue Volvo, which screeched of death when slowing down, bumbled and popped into a desolate gas station. It was the kind of store that inspired curiosity as to how it managed to stay afloat, being as isolated from everything as it was. The boy’s companions trudged sleepily and wet into the gas station, but the boy was consumed by a feeling of which he was unaccustomed. Though the rain poured in excess and hid the world behind a veil of water, the boy quickly grew enamored with the mystery and appeal of being in a new place; living in and perceiving the metaphor of the rain hiding the world from his eyes. It was the appeal of the new, the rare opportunity to reinvent oneself in whatever manner he found to his liking. No expectations, truly free of societal norms, to do, be whatever he wanted; to act, feel however he wished. The boy threw open his arms and roared with laughter into the onslaught of the storm, spinning round, round, round in circles with his arms outstretched as if to embrace the world and all, to fit it within his arms and shelter it from the drenching cold. An abrasive voice woke the boy from his wet reverie and as he peered back at the caravan, he saw his friends gathered around the car whispering secrets in his direction…
Another memory overtook the boy and he found himself at a hotel in a nameless beach town. There was a girl, shrouded in self-imposed isolation, thoroughly cut off from the world experience. Downcast eyes and a faltering unsure smile. Three days was all they had, in a slice of a dream in which they subjugated themselves to on a yearly basis. Three days of the boy trying to make the girl smile, to improve upon her temperament and overall demeanor. Three days of failing. On the third day, the girl stood at the end of a dimly lit hallway, the paneling peeling and discolored to match the mood. The boy looked after her as she walked away to the elevator and wished her well with a compassionate sincerity. He wished well for all, but the seemingly downtrodden and real held a special place in his heart, like the recognition of a long lost relative. The girl stood in the elevator and looked back and for a moment the world stopped moving, air itself ceased movement as eye contact was held. Then the elevator door slid shut and the girl ceased to be. The boy wished and prayed that he had managed to bring forth the moon’s light to engulf her as she was so enshrouded by the darkness below…
The boy awoke from his reverie and gazed into the dwindling fire set before him, the wood being all but burnt to ash and yet the coals thrived as they pulsated with inner warmth. As all fell to ash, the coals maintained and could withstand against the insurmountable force of time to a remarkable degree. So it was with life, the persistence of human existence. Every individual, a single flame gutting and spitting in the daily onslaught. With each new flame, the light changes and grows, providing compassionate and sincere inspiration and hope for the wandering souls.
With a load explosion, the night sky blossomed with reds, blues and greens, as fireworks popped and fizzled around the boy’s midnight reverie. The moon had truly arrived just in time for the grand spectacle which challenged but did not compete against the elegant grace of the immortal Luna.