The moon's supposed to be really big tonight, bigger than it's been
since the eighteen-whatevers. Now normally, I'm not a stargazin' kinda
guy, but this sounded cool. The way the news guy was goin' on about it,
I was thinkin' maybe it was gonna fill up the whole sky or somethin'.
Now I'm out here in the park, freezin' my ass off at midnight, lookin' up at the sky and watchin' my breath puff up towards that big old moon. It's not as big as I thought it was gonna be, but it's still pretty cool. I mean, I can read my watch without hittin' the little button that's supposed to make the face light up. If I had thought to bring a book or the newspaper, I bet I could read that too.
I can feel my holster cinching in my sweater and turtleneck under my jacket, reminding me that no one in their right mind is usually outside in a city park in the middle of the night. But I can see other people out too, standin' and sittin', lookin' up at the moon.
It's got a kinda creamy halo around it, and the night's a little bit humid, so there's halos around the streetlights too. Streetlight halos aren't as big as the moon halo, and they've got this pitiful orangish color. Nobody does it like ol' Ma Nature.
All the dirty, slushy snow has been shoved off to the sides of the path, and there's a couple patches of grass showin'. Each blade's got it's own white fuzz-frost, and it's all glittery and sparkly. Somethin' about this moon makes Chicago look almost clean. Maybe it's the light, just enough for everything to be seeable in the kinda creamy coloring, but not enough to see all the crap you can see in the daytime. Maybe it's cuz everything's covered in the fuzz-frost. Even the trees have this real thin coat of ice on their trunks that reflect the moon and look like glass. It's gorgeous, I mean, really gorgeous.
I feel like maybe I should be lookin' at this with somebody else. Parta me still wants to be lookin' at it with Stella. I'd put my arms around her to keep her warm, and we'd sit here and watch it for a while. Then I'd ask her to dance, and she'd look at me like I was crazy, but way back then I know she'da done it. She'da gotten up, and we'd dance right here in the creamy light, makin' footprints in the glitter on the grass to show where we'd been. Then I'd kiss her like nobody's been kissed since the eighteen-whatevers.
'Course, Stella's not here. She's down in Florida rackin' bowlin' pins with Ray Vecchio number one. I flop down in the grass, not carin' that the back of my head's gettin' wet as I look up at the moon. Even if she was here, she wouldn't dance. She'd look at me like I was some pathetic moron and she'd tell me to 'back off, Ray.' And I'd back off. Pushover that I am, I'd back off like a good little puppy dog.
Yeah, I'm kinda maybe sorta partatheway still in love with her. But it's over, and I like to think that maybe even if a little corner of me is always gonna belong to Stella, the rest of me has moved on.
Maybe I should be watchin' this with Maggie. I spent almost a month up at her place thawin' out when Frase and I were on that hand hunt last year. We had a serious thing goin', and I almost, almost asked her to marry me. Dunno why I chickened out. Hell, it's not like I don't love her. She's just...mmm. Maggie's like Stella was, makin' my head and my heart and my hormones all go pitter patter at the same time. We even made double snow angels a couple times, if ya know what I mean.
She's just...she's so inde...indi...on her own. Like Stella was. Maybe I'm scared that she's so on her own that she don't need me. Hell, I know she don't *need* me. Maybe I'm afraid she don't want me.
Great, here I am, on my back in a park, lookin' up at a seriously shiny moon here, and I'm thinkin' the same depressin' thoughts that I could think in my own dark little apartment. You've really gotta change tracks here,
I feel this little smile tweak my face as I realize who I'd really like to be watchin' this moon with. Frase.
He's up there in Eskimo Pie country, and I know he's happy up there. That's his place, his 'hood, just like Chicago is mine. I should probably be glad he's gone. I mean, it's been more than a year since I've seen him, and I've only been shot at twice. There ain't been any sinkin' ships or Ruskie spy rings or anythin' else crazy like that. Just normal, ordinary police stuff.
If he was here, he'd be tellin' me all about how the moon got to be so bright, and why it only does it one in a billion like this. He'd do his Inuit stories about caribou and wolves and snow and everything, and how the moon got up in the sky like this. It'd be boring as hell, but I'd have somebody who wouldn't think I was stupid if I just said "whoa, cool", and I wouldn't have to worry about kissin' or marryin' or fallin' in love.
Jes' a friend. A brother-type, bestest-buddies, been-through-hell-an'-back friend.
I wonder if he's lookin' at the moon too? Bet he is.
Guess I'm not watchin' this thing alone after all.