A Dramatic Eclipse

The total eclipse of the moon last night was a truly memorable experience.

It had sounded like it would be good enough that I’d thought about setting an alarm and going up on the roof to view it, but then I realized that hey, my anaconda prostate gets me up to pee at least every hour or so anyhow, so I could just look at the progress of the eclipse during bathroom breaks.

Which I did.

First break: nothing had happened yet.

Second break: the partial eclipse was underway in the southwest sky.

Third break: Totality, and I had the sense to get out my little binoculars but was not quite fully awake, so there was some difficulty in getting my eyes onto the correct end. And then when I achieved that, the fully eclipsed moon was nice and big, but it was also all fuzzy, with or without my glasses, so the binoculars turned out to be useless. Still, the moon was lovely.

Fourth break: A disappointment at first, as I immediately saw that a bit of cloud cover was to some degree obscuring the show, but then it swept me that I was indeed blessed because the clouds were somehow causing an astonishing color display, turning a big chunk of sky around the moon mottled ruby reds, or perhaps reds like those of the old strontium glass, achingly brilliant with some variegation caused by different thickness of clouds.

It was so stunning that I could hardly tear myself away, but I realized that I might be able to set my little toy camera on its Night mode, go out on the balcony, and brace the camera on the balcony railing so as to somehow record this amazing phenomenon as I stood there freezing in my underwear. So I grabbed the camera and was frantically trying to find the Night mode in the dark because I didn’t want to turn the lights on and ruin my night vision.

Well, damn me, I kept fiddling around and when I looked back up at the sky, the show was over. Well, not quite. I did manage to catch the last few seconds of that display as it faded out.

Only then did I look to the northwest and see that the city had erected a giant screen on which the phenomenon was being displayed, but alas it was shutting down, too, and the crowd was already dispersing. Well, shucks, I thought, I totally blew this one. Hadn’t heard a peep about that screen event.

Disappointed I didn’t get to see more, but still happy that I had the memory of that regal red display to savor the rest of my life, I went back to bed.

Fifth break: I went into the kitchen and, as I expected, the clouds had dissipated and the eclipse had progressed to partial mode again. Not much to see there. And then my eye alit on the kitchen table. There were the binoculars, and I had to laugh as it struck me that the reason the damn eclipse was fuzzy was that I hadn’t been together enough to twist the knobs and focus the damn things. Oh, silly me.

And then I looked again at the table and saw no camera. Where’s the damn camera? I know I’d put it down beside the binoculars.

No camera. Curious, I went hunting for it and found it on the floor at the front door, where I remembered putting it yesterday afternoon because I wanted to be sure to take it with me on an errand I’d planned for this morning.

Remember how I wrote last year about the Sustiva dreams? The ones caused by this med I’m taking that blurs the line between dream and reality for a few hours after ingestion? Ummm. Could it possibly be that the city did not, after all, erect yesterday a hundred-foot high screen to the northwest that I could see from my kitchen windows? Could it possibly be that there had been no spectacular red cloud display? Could it possibly be that the fourth break did not actually occur but was rather a Sustiva dream/hallucination?

The tangible evidence of the binoculars on the kitchen table suggests that the third break happened as described.

The camera being in a place where I now recall leaving it yesterday afternoon, plus the absence of a hundred-foot-high screen to the northwest, not to mention that I would not in any case have been able to see people at the base of such a screen, all make it clear that the fourth break was a figment.

Betcha nobody enjoyed that eclipse as much as me.

This elevator door, however, is real:


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