On the Cusp of Human
I left work today and saw a perfect moon. It hung pregnant in the sky, white, silent. I was in awe. I sat and stared for quite some time and I thought about what ancient man must have first thought when he was cognizant of what it was floating there in the sky. At some point man must have taken a break from its obsession with eating and fucking to contemplate. At some point ancient man went from animal to human, and part of that transition came when it recognized the moon as something more than just decoration.
I can only imagine what that moment was like. What that human thought. What was racing through his or her mind.
I imagine it was something similar to what I felt like the first time I really noticed a female. The first (innocent) sexual thoughts I had. There much like any other heterosexual male's first sexual thoughts. It's that moment where the girl goes from just being kind of cool to hang out with to being someone to be desired. You notice that gentle swell of her breast, the way her ass moves when she walks away from you, the way her hair smells when her head turns your way. You see that sparkle in her eye and you fantasize that it's for you. You watch her legs and wonder what they would look like in shorts.
That moment is sheer exhilaration. It is like a light bulb exploding in your skull. You never get that moment back. It changes you forever, and I think that's what the first person who was awed by the moon felt like.
There are moments when nature devastates me. The beauty of the ocean. A sunset that hits just right. A snow covered mountain. The way the woods sound when no one is around. And then reality sets in.
Humans do more to fuck up the world around them than any other creature I can think of. We are the only breathing things on this globe that can create things that not only can we not destroy but that can destroy everything around us. We create more filth than any other animal and yet still have the audacity to call ourselves civilized. We do horrible things to others simply for "kicks" and declare that we are above the cockroaches that scurry about our kitchens when the lights go out.
That moon, the moon that captured my attention tonight, brought me back to that time when fire was still magic and the meat the dripped fat into it was worshipped. It put me on the cusp of human, and I liked it. We are advanced enough now that we have a sense of place in history that we can straddle that line between the awakening and the death. We can be stunned into silence before breaking into a sick frenzy of fucking, killing and eating in order to deaden the pain -- the hell with the survival of the species.
As I watched that moon, Obama made his speech. War would continue. Hope, the message he sold to a lot of naive voters who, in keeping with their assigned roles, cared more about rhetoric than substance. The irony of his award for peace was not lost on me. It was a perfect moment in a world where such things are a rarity.
That moon. The cusp of human. The stress of the day wore away, and then I eased my car into traffic, the Damned playing on the stereo. The animals were heading home en masse. We were alive, but not living, and that moon served as our notice.
I just wondered how many others stopped to pay attention