The moon

In the last hour of my drive from Denver to Kansas City I watched a waning gibbous moon rise in the east, yellow and huge just over my destination. A few days later, on the drive back to Denver: the reverse: the moon descended slowly through my windshield, unassuming in the still-lit blue sky.

I know the moon. I’ve known it my whole life. It rises in the east and sets in the west. When it is a D like in Dios it is growing. When it is a C like in Cristo it is dying. It is tidally locked, which is to say–there is a dark side of the moon–a side we never see. It rotates around us as we spin on our axis. The moon orbits such that every day it is slightly ahead of where it was the day before. There is a pattern. It is predictable. (But tell me the truth, how often have you looked up and smiled, just a little bit surprised to find the moon there in the sunlit sky?)

On the drive back to Denver I stopped at a gas station. Filled up the tank. Got back in the car. Changed the music. Merged onto the highway. Minutes or hours later (who knows) I thought oh! I should check on the moon. But when I looked up it was gone. Gone? Maybe it’s behind those clouds over there? Or it set already–is that possible? Has the road briefly reoriented north while I wasn’t paying attention? Have I underestimated time? The speed at which we spin? I thought I knew I thought I knew a lot of things. But maybe I don’t. Because how the hell do you lose the moon?

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