“It’s called the Full Strawberry Moon,” I said before tilting my head back to look up at the moon with him. “The Algonquins named it that to signal it as the time to gather ripe, wild strawberries. It’s also known as the Honey Moon, Mead Moon, and the Full Rose Moon. But…I like Full Strawberry Moon. It makes me think of summer. I got to spend time with you in summer. So, that’s my favorite. It’s also a blue moon tonight. A blue moon is the second full moon within a single calendar month. It only happens once or twice a year. Hence the once in a blue moon saying. People say that blue moons look bigger…some people even claim they look blue, and that’s where they got the name. But the moon is always greyish or white—only atmospheric conditions on Earth or an eclipse can make it look different colors. The moon is constant, unyielding. At least…for our lifetimes.”
Love is a type of total destruction. A beautifully orchestrated abolishment of who a person is. A subjugation of what one is and a metamorphosis into something closer to the truth. Something closer to the most divine aspect of a human being. An apotheosis.
It’s impossible for one to wish for love without a willingness to welcome destruction.
It’s an odd thing, the concept of accepting kindness. It is like a habit or an addiction. When you find yourself being treated equitably time and again, it becomes second nature to believe that all people are good. That no one in the whole wide world is bad. That you can always rely on people doing the right thing for others, simply because it is the right thing to do. When you have gone without kindness—and it does not have to be for a very long time, it just has to be consistent—you become suspicious of all kindness. You begin to think that anyone who does something even remotely kind wants something from you. Furthermore, you begin to think of accepting kindness as a weakness because you want to prove to the unkind world that you did not need sympathy from it anyway. You set out to prove that regardless of how the world treats you, things will be fine. So, when the world gives you a break, you tell it to go fuck itself. Just because you can.
I’ve always felt that as it is with the bees, so is it with boys, that they are never more alive than when they answer the wildness that calls from within.
Choosing to continue to love someone is one of the most profound ways that I see God. Well…maybe not God. But the vastness and benevolence of the universe. Chemicals and particles and elements…and the dust stars are made of…set into motion billions of years ago, pinging around in the vastness of space, over nearly immeasurable distance, led to the moment a person looks into another person’s eyes and thinks:
You’re part of my tribe.
What more proof does one need that the universe hopes for the best for us?
My head rolled back to stare up at the moon, high in the sky, swollen with appropriated sunlight and the hopes cast off by dreamers all over the world who were fast asleep. The moon has no light or hope of its own, but it borrows some each day.
Something that grown-ups never tell you when you yourself are growing up is that death is just an end. Sure, a lot of us are taught religion and/or spirituality and how death is the beginning of a new adventure—of life eternal with our savior or God or… whatever. Maybe it’s not the absolute final destination for those who have died. But it’s the end for those who are left behind. There’s no more memaw or papaw or mom or dad or brother or sister or cousin or… whomever it is that you’ve lost. And there was no more Dally for me. He became a part of that nothing. That gaping hole in my chest that could never be filled in like his grave had been.
“If the person you’re with doesn’t inspire reverence, doesn’t make you want to worship at their feet, well, what the fuck are you doing wasting your time?” he spoke from behind the paper. “You’re just a Baptist at a synagogue. Pissing into the wind while a bush burns behind you.”
“Moms are a horrible concept,” Harvey said haughtily as though he could read my mind. “You couldn’t climb out of the primordial ooze like a perfectly sensible demon? Fight your way up from the bowels of the underworld? Come into existence thanks to a sorcerer’s error? A poorly worded wish made to a genie? I miss the days when creation came from the twisting of a spirit or a human soul. Those were the days, man.”
Tremendous Love & Thanks,