"Woah, look at the moon."
I tilt my head to the sky, seeing the moon appear from between two dark, fluffy clouds, and the area around us is suddenly much brighter.
"It's nearly full," I reply.
He steps toward me, and stands next to me, his cigarette dangling from his lips. "Why does it go from full, to half, to quarter, and then back again? How does that work?"
I'm surprised he doesn't know. I retain my urge to be a smart ass and shrug. "Something to do with the sun's reflection off it, I think." I make sure I sound very uncertain.
"Huh," he murmurs, taking a drag on the cigarette; in the stillness of the night, I can actually hear the roll burning, sizzling as he inhales on it. Even though I can't stand the idea or the act of smoking, the fact that he does it makes me biased; everytime I smell the smoke, I'm reminded of kisses, driving in his car, and intellectual conversations. Everytime I have to go home again, I smell all my clothes as I unpack them in hopes that the aroma of Marlboro reds will still be there with me, even though he's not.
The summer night air is warm on my skin, a relief from the overly air-conditioned house that leaves me shivering. The street is silent, the other houses mostly dark, and all I can hear are the sounds of our own breathing. All I can feel is the air on me, and his presence beside me.
Moments. Moments are tricky things; a particular instant in time, or an important or significant occasion. Not defined by a mathematical lapse of seconds, hours, days, but by what happens in that time; what is said, what is felt, what is thought.
As we hope to see another peek of the moon through the thick cloud's veil, I'm wondering, will this moment be significant to me always? Will this particular instant be something I recall before my life is over?
Suddenly I realize I'm being criptic. It's a cloud, for Christ's sake.
Still, I steal a glance at the man beside me. He's captivated by the moon, barely noticing that his cigarette is about to ash all over him. This man, who is usually only distracted by hot women on television, by videogames, and by rap music, has the moon's returning light in his eyes. I can see, in his large eyes, that the cloud has passed on.
"That was a big f*cking cloud," he says, breaking the silence.
I laugh louder than I normally would. "Yeah."
What is he thinking right now? I wonder, always unable to figure out what's going on in that head of his. Especially when he's being so out of character, like now, taking pleasure in something that even I, the most poetic and nature-minded person I know, am finding mundane.
Maybe he sees himself as the moon, and those nighttime clouds as the moments in his life; moments that we don't wish to remember. Maybe he's seeing that, no matter how dark those moments are for the moon, it still comes out the other side, just as bright as it was before.
Maybe he's not that deep. But damn, does he look handsome in the moonlight.
"There it goes again," he says, as another formidable-looking cloud blankets the moon in darkness. "Damn, that's a big one too," he says of the cloud, "We won't see the moon again for a while."
I smile, keeping my eyes on him.
"No, not for a while."
... but it will be missed dearly 'til I do.