The Moon is beautiful tonight. I wish you could see it. Funny, how even after all that’s happened, it can still seem so gorgeous. I know I should hate it; everyone else does. I just can’t.
They say we only have a couple of weeks left. I’m glad. I’ve gotten over the panic and helplessness that seems to have consumed everyone else. Now I’m just curious. They say we’ll only be alive for a while, once the Moon and Earth collide. They say the impact alone will destroy almost every living thing within the first hour, and that the rest will be wiped clean within the day. They say there is nothing we can do but wait.
More people have been taking their own lives as the days go on. I don’t blame them. It certainly has its appeal. When gravity ceased to exist, many people began to simply let go. They would release their grip on the ground below and float up into the sky like balloons. I’ve heard that the effect is like carbon monoxide poisoning, except that the freedom and weightlessness of flying is the last conscious sensation. They fly up until the air gets so thin that they drift off to sleep. I hope that’s true. I can’t stand the thought that you might have suffered.
It took a while to get used to having my bed on the ceiling. It was scary for a while, knowing that the only thing stopping me from floating up into oblivion was that thin layer of plaster and plywood. But I can see the Moon so well from here, if I hang my head off the side of the bed and look through our big glass skylight. It’s enormous by now, a translucent globe of pearl almost swallowing up the inky sky beyond, larger every day as it approaches. If I squint, I can see the shadows of the mountains and craters on the Moon’s surface, gray against the chalky white flat lands. There is no day anymore, only the Moon. You always loved the night better, anyway.
I keep our little red radio next to the bed. All that’s left on the stations is static, but for a while, it was the only way I got any news at all. Over and over they would relay the same message. The tides were getting too high, that was the first sign. They went on for months about possible explanations and dangers but nobody listened very seriously. The oceans were engulfing land all over the world and it was getting colder every day. The sun was dying and nothing could be done.
And then that night came when the world took you away. I saved myself. I grabbed the handrail on the stairs outside our house but you weren’t fast enough. You floated up with millions of others, filling the sky, helpless. I saw you over my shoulder against the Moon, your arms and legs outstretched and uncontrolled.
You got smaller and smaller amongst all those people and cars and things until you blended in with the crowd. Soon I couldn’t tell the difference between you or any of the others and the thousands of scattered stars behind you. Then you disappeared into the
night and all that was left behind were those tiny spots of bright light.
That was the first week the sun didn’t rise. The Earth stopped turning as the sun’s pull grew weaker and weaker. The night stretched on and on. I stopped going to work that week. Everybody did. We all knew the world wouldn’t be around much longer, so what was the point?
And what is the point now? All I have to look forward to is a slow, inevitable end to my existence. I will watch as that gargantuan orb nears ever closer to our surface, hour after hour, day after day, until it eventually meets our surface. That fateful kiss will destroy everything. But I cannot let go just yet. I can’t decide if it’s curiosity or cowardice—maybe both—but something keeps me here, staring up at the inky black of space, waiting.
You’ve been gone a month now and I miss you every day. I will meet you again soon. Until then, there’s always the Moon.
Always The Moon was originally published in Foliate Oak Magazine, Sept. 2010.