Exclusive Interview with the Moon
The moon talks about what drove her away from the earth, reveals her dark side, and why she never reads Dante.
Interviewed by Dale Beran
So how did you come to circle the earth?
Well, actually I broke apart from the earth 3.5 billion years ago when we were a single mingled mass, super-heated, but quickly cooling.
Oh, wow. So are you still on good terms with him?
[laughs] Well, that was a long time ago.
And the sun?
Yes, he was there too, years back. It was very strange. We were all living together, compressed into the head of a pin.
Was it better then?
You know it’s hard to say. We had no money. I sank into a deep despair. But there were good things. Sweating in that little apartment, the rest of the celestial bodies pushed against yours, young, waiting, for what? You had to go crazy. The fights we would have. The sun would catch my fists as I flung them at him. Nothing was ever in the refrigerator. How I burned then to be alone.
Everyone knows you have a dark side, but what's it like?
The sun is a powerful force. I'll be the first to admit that. But it's not like I'm hiding anything from him. It's just that he wants to see all of me, and I don't think that's what I want. So some things... some things remain obscure.
How often are you kissed by the stray asteroid?
It happens now and then, but not as often as people think. It's just that each one, over the eons, leaves an indelible mark. It's difficult to tell how many because when I regard my reflection, it is often broken into a million pieces in earth's troubled waters.
Yes, in desperate times, I've noticed.
Do you watch me?
I watch you change, sometimes, from my bedroom window. It's not something I'm ashamed of, but not something I mention to anyone.
Wasn't that how the poet Li Po drowned?
"And Li Po also died drunk
He tried to embrace a moon
In the yellow river."
I didn't know that.
Do you feel responsible for the death of poets?
Do you think it was fair how Dante portrayed you, a sphere of imperfection, not quite in heaven, not quite as flawed as the earth?
People can write what they like. They are ephemera to me. I can only see the larger picture, longer than the brief pattern of their lives.
Do I have enough oxygen to reach home?
[laughs] Apparently not.
What should I do?
You should stay with me forever in the Mare Lacrimae.
Is there such a place?
It is a curved pool of silken silt.
[laughs] Thank you, moon! You've been a great interviewee!