Wednesday, October 7, 2009

"I can't sleep anymore. It's too much like death."

My tweet from 2:05 AM, October 3rd, at windowsill:

Slowly, silently, now the moon
Walks the night in her silver shoon;
This way, and that, she peers, and sees
Silver fruit upon silver trees.

I arrive home Friday night late. My room is a mess, every piece of clothing I have askew on its hanger in the open closet or bundled like a rag somewhere on my floor. It looks somewhat like those scenes in plays where people are huddled as background homeless people, while the lead homeless person sings some homeless person song. So there are little groupings all over my room. There are warm brown towels and shoes and books mixed into the piles on the floor. It’s dark and heavy in my room, my nightlight in one corner casts a low glow onto the floor. The air above my knees is dark, below my knees it glows brown and gold, the piles of clothes everywhere parted to make way for a tunnel-shaped space on the carpet that my body fits snugly into. My computer is at one end of this tunnel.

I arrive home Friday night late. I don’t bother to turn my light on, too tired, and before I lay down in my worm-shaped space to get to my computer, I walk across the heavy, warm air and lumps of clothing to my desk in front of the window. I remove my shoes, my pants, my shirt. I put them on my chair. I rub my slightly aching stomach with my free hand. I place my purse unstable and askance on top of a pile of things on the desk, folding my arms over my belly, and the windowsill catches my eye. My windowsill is covered in laces of finely-worked blue moonlight.

Moonlight, I think to myself. Moonlight. Lately I seem to have been re-realizing infinite amounts of things like this, like I did the beach. Re-realizing that they exist and are alone enough to live by. I don’t believe I’ve ever seen actual moonlight, ever observed a totally darkened space, mid-night, that’s lightened substantially by the glow of the moon. My own piece of it. I flip through my mind, remembering that I did once see moonlight like this, on a long car trip as a child, in the middle of nowhere, lighting my windowsill. It was very late at night and I should have been asleep with my blankie. It was in our maroon van, this same lacy blue light. I remember that I placed my little fingers on the windowsill to see them lightened by the moon. And they were.

It is the full moon weekend, this Friday. I keep one eye on the moonlight to make sure it’s not just a reflection of my neighbors’ house lights, and bend down carefully to flip off my seashell nightlight. Both eyes return to the sill and I look beyond it next, to the roof, to the flicking shiny pieces of shingles that are silver and brilliant from the moon in the quilted configuration of clouds far above. I look at this moon, this chip of ice, and think smilingly of Moonstruck—la bella luna, oh, it is magical, this magical blue moon. My fingers are once again dancing on my windowsill, dancing in the quasi-dimensional tesseractic blue light. My fingers dance, leap, and bound effortlessly. No gravity. I reflect the moon in my fingers, on my windowsill.

It seems so trite, so silly, so cliché to talk about something like moonlight and the magical effect that it has, but to stand there at my windowsill, like I do for so many other things, for my regal Chinese elm, for the purple sunsets, for the kitties on the rain gutter, for the shingles that glow adobe-colored, other times silver, blue, deep black when it’s snowing, for my father working in the back, for my fiberglass yellow slide, for the Scotts who live behind us that sit outside and mow a lot and have a fake owl in their garden whom I always hear laughing—to stand there for these things is something that I live for.

This windowsill is a lot of things, and this early black morning, it is moonlight. The moonlight will linger as I sleep. I sit there in front of the desk for moments wishing I could sleep here somehow so as to keep my fingertips dimensionless and wavering in the icing light. But, I remove my hand back into the thick warmth, I retire to my bed on the other side of my room, nightlight: off, and try to keep my eyes as open as long as possible while I am turned to the magic blue square of light coming from my window in my falling asleep. Even when my eyes close I feel it. The moon.

1 comment:

Brittany said...

Julie, I love how you write! I know how you feel, writing about trite and romantic things. I don't know if there is anyway around it though...the silly things are the beautiful things I've noticed. They're the things that want to be written about.