I think I see the same woman with her kid at least 20 times in one shift.
I mean, it’s not actually, but things get lost like that. Brain stew, repeating images, skinny lattes.
Even as a crescent, the moon still has visible craters; grey against the yellow. Marks from picking at the same spot again and again. And the moon gets further from us every day, making it different, but not really. Juliet calls the moon fickle when compared to it, but I disagree: one, she’s 14 and should have started realizing that bodies change on a daily basis and celestial ones are no different, and two, it always comes back around eventually. If anything, the moon is more constant than the sun given our probably correct assumptions about Neil Armstrong’s footprints. The moon is maybe the most constant companion we’ve got.
So I see the same woman who is not the same woman with her son who is not the same son but is, and is sometimes a daughter and is sometimes both or neither or multiple or absent, temporarily. Her hair sits in a low ponytail at the base of her skull, parted in the middle. She usually has a tan. Sometimes she wears Lilly Pulitzer. And I make the same drink again and again with minor variations.
Somewhere between Bridgewater and Easton I manage to pass straight through 106 without any red lights (crazy, considering I usually hit all 15 of them) and my physical form must stop existing because I am suddenly not even near Market Basket. I miss the section usually densest. I have been accused of teleporting before and I believe it because I don’t even know where I must go, just that it’s away. I don’t know where all these similar women come from. I don’t know how to explain to myself where the moon goes, even though rationally, I do know it doesn’t go anywhere. The red lights of the observatory were on; it must have been open. I see a folded letter on the ground and for once I don’t pick it up. For the 12th day in a row, I am unbearably nauseous. Nothing helps it. I keep walking. I keep driving. 160-degree milk bubbles over the pitcher and I do not feel it any more. The moon winks in and out between trees, same shade as sodium lights.
I can’t concentrate on anything and the past week is one single long day. I think I’m existing on 3 hours of sleep per every 48 and the Excedrin I have to keep taking. “Can I get” all I want to answer is no, you can’t. If I am able to throw up maybe my stomach will stop hurting, but I can’t do it. I almost do when I try singing in the car to remind myself that I am real and that time, while not real, is still happening.
Driving home turns into driving to work in fog so dense you can’t see 5 feet in front of you which is my favorite. I love when the sides of the road turn into the ocean. But there is so much roadkill, and then: it is all the same squirrel, placed differently. It’s the same woman. The moon is there, with footprints shaped like tire treads. I try to get my three hours of sleep.
And I have to think of some way to incorporate prolepsis into scenic writing. Ok.