From a section of my short story called LUNATION
( The nine phases of the moon)
The New Moon—back to the beginning
Everyone is talking about the full eclipse. You’ve only seen one in your lifetime, and it changed you forever.
You stand with the group gathered under the gazebo at the end of the beach walkover. Someone counts down minutes. You’ve come hoping for magic, in the same way that people drop another coin to find the first. You turn into the sun, following the heat until it feels centered on your face.
Holding the protective glasses in your hands, you feel the excitement of the man standing beside you. You sense his nervousness in a way you never could before. It’s not just smelling the salt of his sweat with an undertone of cilantro, but it’s the way his anxiety makes an orange-gold aura like a ring in your nose.
He touches your arm and says, “It’s time. You’d better put those on.”
But when you turn your eyes to him he says, “Oh.”
Later, when it’s all over, your hope killed again, the man leans in to whisper with cinnamon breath, “I’ve heard what they say about blind women. I’ll bet there are things you could teach me,” you feel pity, not fear.
It was the year after college. The year you began to believe that everything good lasted forever. The date was circled on the calendar, planned down to the hour: a picnic lunch, a new dress, calling in sick to a job you’d never return to.
And when he didn’t show? You stood alone on the hill and looked right into the eclipse. You were selfish, as always. Wanting this moment for yourself, because even if on the surface it appeared as though you had it all, somewhere under that façade, you were broken and empty.
The doctor told you it was the strangest thing he’d seen, that particular eclipse should not have been strong enough to blind you. Was it the angle, the timing, the single blink you might have taken, but didn’t? A scenario operating in the reverse direction might have been called miraculous, but for you, it was a simply—a shame.
Now, everyone wants your photograph—with that blank indigo stare, the way the deadest eye is ice blue and white—how everything that peers into it is reflected back three-fold.
Look deep, and see yourself as you used to be—pure, kind, generous—before that woman, that accident, that mistake, that single moment. Your blindness gives them hope. It’s a place without condemnation or judgment. Your eyes are their clean slate, a chance at loving themselves again.
Because in the end, every story is a love story.
It’s all about the falling for, the falling in, and the inevitable—the falling out. Some people love their dogs, their cat, their car, house, kids, or boat. They love what love brings with it—a smile, a fluttering heart, an anticipation that is not false or directed. To love is to embrace the object of your affection wholly and without restraint. Whether it’s jazz music or a pair of designer shoes.
It’s love when it’s hate.
The same neurons firing, the same passion accelerating through the bloodstream. The same desires.
The heart wants what the heart wants.
Looking into a crystalline eye that feels like redemption, ask yourself, did I love hard enough? Was I too pathetic? Was I a shitty little thing that got tossed aside in the end? Do I deserve more? A second chance?
Because, in the moonlight, even a penny can sparkle.
Tell him. Tell her. You shine.