Enchantments on the run continue. On my run this morning I found a fallen star in the middle of the street. From my limited knowledge of stellar science I understand both the birth of stars and the death of stars to be violent events of chaos and disorder. All appeared peaceful, orderly, and non-violent on the street where the star lay in repose, so I can only guess why/how the star ended up on Earth. It does seem to be rather battered. There is some obvious fraying. The wear and tear of travel across the Universe, I presume. Or a tumultuous landing. Scuffed by space stuff, perhaps.
I was running with El Doggo. I had a devil of a time getting him to backtrack with me to pick it up as we streaked by. I kept pointing to the star-struck asphalt behind us explaining in human-speak I needed to go back and get it. He kept resisting at leash length, determined to press ever onward. After several false lateral starts he finally relented and agreed to investigate said space below the end of my finger. He watched me pick up the star, sniffed it once, and gave me the dog equivalent of a Really? That’s what was so important we had to stop running? There are a dozen telephone poles on this street more interesting than that thing, crazy lady. Oh, and now you want me to wait while you stow it away in a zippered pocket? Sigh.
Here it is shown propped upright atop a brick for scale. It is quite the diminutive celestial body. This may explain why our planet did not seem to suffer any undue disturbance from its collision. Upon further consideration though, there was a lot of barking in the neighborhood last night. My dogs joined the chorus. This is typically due to prowling foxes, entire prides of stray cats, hobos, and most recently, a skunk. But who’s to say last night’s concert wasn’t due to a tiny falling star passing through our atmosphere at great peril to land congenially in the middle of a suburban street instead of wiping us all out like the dinosaurs? I mean, wouldn’t you bark? Out of appreciation if not wonder?
I should confess I stopped to ask to the internet if a group of cats is indeed called a pride. Indeed it is not. It is a clowder. Or a flaring. Or in the case of kittens, a kindle. I also asked the internet if a group of stars is called anything other than a constellation and the internet says yes, but nothing as fine a name as constellation. I wondered if a constellation might be missing a star now that I’ve got this one propped upon my brick ledge, and if so, what would one call that? A cluster, apparently. If I knew how to recognize more than few constellations I suppose I could dust off the telescope in the closet and look for one missing a star. Feels wrong though. If this star went to the trouble of coming here it must have a good reason and may not want to be associated with its past.
I imagine it is impossible to go back, after all, and I want to be kind. If this star regrets its decision I don’t want to make matters worse by asking a bunch of painful questions. Or even if there is no regret there might be plenty of painful business which is none of mine. So I’m not prying. Neither am I stalking the skies looking for a void. I’m trying to be a good planetary ambassador. These efforts include the fervent hope that riding around in the butt pocket of my running shorts wasn’t a horrid welcome to life on Earth. It was mild this morning. I didn’t sweat so much. I suppose I can hope after a journey through the ozone layer a touch of hydration might be nice. Along with the gentle massage of my bouncing booty while snugly ensconced within in our planet’s highest technological advance in performance fabrics.
For all I know I gave that star a serendipitous spa treatment. That’s not something just anyone can say any old morning on Earth, now is it? The next time I am invited to tell other Earthlings a little bit about myself I will have the best answer in the room if for no other reason than no one else would dare say such a thing. You know the drill. People introduce themselves by first describing their relationship to other people in mind-numbing rote of marital status, number and ages of children and pets, yada yada yada, which tells us NOTHING interesting about them at all. Box-Checkers, I call them. Of all the things we might tell each other in this one wild and precious life, people, stop defaulting to this like a bunch of dull automatons.
Dare we instead lead with something like …
“Hi, I’m Mercy. I once found a fallen star and gave it a hands-free massage with sweat from my ass crack by running around with it in my shorts. After it was over I was super polite by not asking any rude or embarrassing questions about where it had been.”
I don’t need to know where this star has been. It’s been in my pants. And that’s the best we have to offer on this planet.