Fiction · 06/24/2015

Lunar Facts

1. I am planning to remove the Moon from service. Do not consider this a temporary interruption. It will be permanent.

2. Statistics show that over 82% of violent crimes occur when the Moon is full. Isn’t it time we hold the Moon accountable?

3. Super moon, blue moon, harvest moon, blood moon a week or so ago that I missed due to major exhaustion from dealing with you, sliver-of-a-moon, Jay Leno’s chin moon, eclipsed moon — so much to keep track of, so much sky clutter.

4. We held hands under a partial lunar eclipse, stretched across the hood of your 4-Runner. Your lips stung from sunburn, but we kissed through it. Aloe tastes like rubber, you said. The truck hood capillaried cold into my spine. I remember totally forgetting to look up at the stupid eclipse.

5. Emergency rooms are an Expand-O-Foam of crazies during a full moon.

6. The moon is so full it is hollow, and now you find yourself busting out words to fill it, words you’ve never said to me, or — if I believe you — to anyone, ever. You tell me how the moon was full when you woke up in your big-boy crib to the screams of your mother, the slap-sounds much louder than patty-cake slaps punching through the walls of your nursery. You think you tried to crawl out through the bars of your crib; you think maybe your right leg hooked up and under the top rail. You think the sound of you hitting the wide-oak planks of your nursery floor was what stopped your mother’s crying, or maybe, you think, the sounds of you crying took over everything — the nursery, the house, the moon, filling up the giant sky circle with the insides of you until its face glowed the color of urine.

7. Experts say that the increased incidence of crimes and erratic behavior on full moon days may be due to ‘human tidal waves’ caused by the gravitational pull of the moon.

8. The last time I took you to the emergency room, there was no moon in the sky whatsoever. I know this because the streetlight in front of your shit-hole apartment was out again and it took me forever to find the ignition on your steering column while simultaneously trying to control the tidal wave of you. A miscalculation, you said, later; a freak accident, you said the next time. You wear me out, I think, but I do not say.

9. Albert Einstein, when contemplating whether or not properties of particles exist if they cannot be directly observed, stated: I like to think that the moon is there even if I am not looking at it.

10. I like to think that you exist even if I am not looking at you. Sometimes, I am not so sure about this, so I open up your medicine cabinet and observe the meniscus of pills in various amber plastic bottles. Quick math. It’s like guessing the jellybean count in the sun tea pitcher at your nephew’s birthday party, but I recall being outwitted by an eight-year-old named Brody. I peek around the corner and see you slumped on the futon, mid-Cheetos bag. You exist.

11. Roman historian Pliny the Elder suggested that the brain was the highest water-content organ in the body and thereby the most susceptible to the pernicious influences of the moon, which triggers the tides.

12. Do you remember teaching me to drive stick shift? The almost vacant King of Prussia parking mall garage? Bright-as-hell mercury lamps made it look like noon in there, but it was three in the morning and we stuttered our way up and up the garage ramp and then there was the roof top and the beach ball of a moon — Let’s drive to Atlantic City, you said, vodka fumes rising off of your tongue. I distracted you with my combo downshift/hand job. Your whole body was damp to the touch.

13. Lunar fact: Originally, the Moon was very close to earth. Some speculate that there was enough light from the Moon to see clearly at night. Which means we would have all lived like summer Alaskans. Which means depression would have become extinct.

14. It is a harvest moon, and your call to me in which you say goodbye sounds like the 724 other times that you’ve said goodbye to me, except a little more final. You say goodbye and I realize that you haven’t even said hello, which is strange, and I say your name, over and over, thinking I hear you breathing on the other end of the phone but then I’m not so sure. You have not hung up the phone, but you are not there, either.

15. Your therapist said maybe you didn’t get enough fresh air. That I should take you outside more, try hike therapy, she said. She had a moon-white lab coat with pockets that she jammed her hands inside of while she talked to me, her fingers wrestling with each other the entire time she gave me the lecture-of-singular-topic — YOU — and I was thinking What about me? When does my therapy start? But of course it never did.

16. I leave your therapist’s office and the moon is a tick less than full, and then it is gone, smothered by fluffernutter clouds. The moon is gone, but Einstein and I know that it is there.

17. When the Moon goes away, when I pluck it from the sky, of course night, as we know it, will be over. The light will be brilliant. You may voluntarily choose to hike. I hope you do. I really do.

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Michele Finn Johnson’s creative nonfiction has appeared in Puerto del Sol and previously won an AWP Introduction to Journals Project award. Her fiction has been published in The Conium Review and TheNewerYork. Michele studies creative writing at Lighthouse Writers Workshop in Denver, Colorado, and holds a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering and a master’s degree in water resources and environmental engineering, both from Villanova University.
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