We took great big Moon bounds across the luminous, rocky surface toward the bears. There were five of them, all playing together in and around the craters. When it came to these Moon bears, I didn’t have any of the same reservations that I would normally have regarding Earth bears. I mean, come on, everyone knows how infamously friendly moon bears are. We spent hours on hours running, jumping and generally mucking around with them. I’m not going to say that I rode a couple or anything but, well, I may have taken a few of them for a spin.
And during all that time I didn’t think once about my home back on Earth. I didn’t think about classes or tests, friends or family, and especially not Her. The only person that was on my mind was my friend, the Woman on the Moon, as we played Moon-bear-polo with lunar rocks. If ever there’d been a happier moment in my life, I certainly can’t remember it. It was so cleansing to forget, if only for a couple of hours.
The only respite from our fun came when I heard Moon-Girl calling out in the distance, hollering out for me to come and see something. I bounced my way across the lunar ground until I was standing beside her on a little hill, overlooking a large swatch of Moon. She was pointing at something a ways out, and as I peered out along her finger, I saw an approaching wall of darkness. Together we stood there and watched quietly as the dark side of the Moon came to swallow us up. Behind us, the pack of Moon bears wandered around idly, munching on Moon-rocks without a care as they are so often wont to do.
“You play much with words much, Thomas?”
“On occasion I’ll work a pun or two. Why?”
“I want you to paint me a picture.”
“With whatever you have.”
“All I have are my words.”
“Then paint with those.”
“Okay, well…,” where do you even start when someone gives you that kind of green light?
I looked into the darkness. It was a blank canvas. Figures spun and twirled about, woven in the thick, shadowy custard. I heard a howling in the silence that screamed my name. A small shadow moved through the opaque molasses while a larger shadow hunted it down, lashing it to pieces. Other scenes emerged too, as my mind projected an opera of my unconscious thoughts upon the dark side of the moon. Two shadows would unite to form a singular apparition, pushing and pulling, wrestling within its form before tearing itself apart. One shade always emerged from this dance, each time more torn, each time more tattered.
An ember glowed. Smoldering paper rolled tight. It burns slowly, casting a shadow that overshadows my silhouette till I burn away and all that’s left is my phantom holding a paper bound right. My ashes are swept under the rug, the rug is rolled tighter than the paper placed next to a lighter burning brighter, and my teeth chatter, no longer whiter, they’re burnt brown from selling lies and cashing truths in a bank that leaks poison. Poison boils my blood so I cool down with fire water that stops my heart. I kick start it with white lightening powder, and I roar like an engine on fire rolled tighter than a rug filled with ashes.
“What do you see?”
I came to, and a memory slipped away like a grease-slicked bolt from my hands into my inner engine, but there was still the oily impression left on my fingertips.
“Uh…” I struggled to recall the shapes from my vision, “There’s a light. But it’s… hidden. You can still see the light, but not the source, you know?”
“Like an eclipse?”
“Mhmm, exactly. Like an eclipse of the mind,” I saw the shadows ripping themselves apart from the inside, “That’s where I’m at right now. Kinda dark.”
“And yet, you still have to wear glasses to look at an eclipse.”
She had a way with words, this one.
“Yeah, well,” And now I couldn’t help smiling in spite of myself, “the sun still shines bright behind an eclipse of the mind.”
“Exactly.” She said, smiling at me and squeezing my hand. We stayed there for a while longer, on top of the hill, situated somewhere in the middle of a valley of stars.