Every night he comes home wanting to write about the rings around the moon. But it is impossible. So he quits smoking, learns to cook a few more meals, makes plans. Keeps them. At best, it is multilayered -- a beautiful, shifting mass of relationships unfolding and folding up again, where nothing is ever lost. At worst, everything is lost. Face pressed against the bed in the dark.

I myself have taken up several new hobbies; sworn off collecting things; and exercise regularly. Two thousand and eight feels good. I find a few minutes of hope on the TV each day. It gets easier to tell the garbage from the soil -- the garbage really stinks.

But there remains the problem of the moon. And women. How does one learn to love? he asks himself. I can hear him through the wall. Should I tell him the question is flawed? "The truth is a pathless wood," someone said, and so I resist the urge to hang up signs. But...

The ring is the light of the sun reflected across the moon's surface and back to us by the clouds. At best, it is everything. At worst, it is something that happened three sentences ago, before the words move him to sleep where he dreams of a blank white page, folding and unfolding, into a perfect, paper flower.

No comments: