February 14, 2009

Clear Skies

You can see the stars in the desert. That's something you'll just never get in New York.

I remember the last time I was unemployed, there was some celestial event that I wanted to witness, so I convinced James and Alex to drive down to Coney Island at like 3 in the morning to see if we could see it. Of course, we didn't realize that the stadium lights would still be on and that Coney Island would be just as bright as elsewhere in the city, so we couldn't see anything.

The sky was bright, but at eye level it still seemed dark on the beach. That worked to our advantage when we wanted to swim. We saw shadows of figures who looked like they were up to no good, but we couldn't see enough to deter us. And even when some random older guy asked me to watch his wallet, took off his pants, ran into the ocean, and then took off his shorts and came back, crouching next to me, I still couldn't really see anything.

Tonight, unemployed again, I keep walking outside into the cold to look up at the sky, waiting for something to happen. Somehow there seem to be more stars tonight than even our first two nights at Harmony Motel, when we stripped down to our suits to stargaze in the hot tub after hours. Edith pointed out the Big Dipper and Orion's belt, and we squinted upwards as the steam rose past our faces, clouding our view but not the sky.

Tonight at The Desert Lily, there's no hot tub and no Edith to guide me astronomically, but I still find myself gazing upwards. I'm farther from the airport now and the planes look more like stars. I'm too tired or intimidated to figure out how to build a fire to keep me warm so I can spend more time outside. But I know that clear, pinhole sky is out there, and my mind is clear too.

What would you give for a little clarity?

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