Also: Supernovas and White Dwarfs
And: A brief Elegy
But most of all: Another node about some girl and boy
Late one August night he was locked out
so they spent the night laying on his front lawn looking up at the
sky. Sky was dark and the stars were bright. Beautiful music playing. They split
earphones between them, the twin pale cords traveling from their ears
down their arms to meet where their bodies met, at their hands. Their
fingers were entwined, a small cold cuboid pressed between their
This is nice the girl said.
Yeah the boy replied.
She sighed. A sigh can mean so many
things: content, tired, resigned, tired, impatient. Tonight it partly
means that he is chronically careless. Locking the keychain in the
car was characteristic. It was late and the matter of being stuck
here without the means of getting inside or driving elsewhere would
have to be resolved eventually.
Though to be honest it was sort of
nice. The night was quiet and the light from above looked impossibly
distant. The moon was a sliver, ceding sky to more distant objects.
The grass was coated with a the faint mist of evening dew. Or maybe
the sprinklers were running earlier today. The random number
generator in the small cold cuboid pressed between their palms was
behaving with remarkable insight and the selections were all
perfectly appropriate. Or maybe that was just the way they would
remember the evening later.
Not much time left he said, just loudly
enough to be heard.
Two more weeks she replied.
She could hear the grass rubbing his
hair gently as he nodded.
Above them light from burning stars
made its journey across space to his front lawn. Some
especially appropriate music was playing. Light may travel quickly but there are great distances involved. The
universe is a large place. By the time we see the rays from a dying
star it has already burnt out. There is already a gaping cold void in
space where it used to be. Time passes between when something happens
and when we see it happen. Astronomers peer through telescopes at what has
already been written and predict what has already
come to pass.
That too. This isn't the end.
Yes. Not the end at all. (Words are
Small bursts of signal traveled from
their fingers, from between the palms of their hands, up their arms.
By the time the touch is felt or the very appropriate music is heard
their fingers and the small cold cuboid pressed between them has
moved on to newer bursts of signal.
They are both of them looking up at the
sky and marveling how quietly stars die. Something ends and they
won't even see it for eons. For now, light, beauty, as if nothing
has changed, as if a luminous celestial warmth still beats where now
is only cold and dark. They look at each other in awe and wonder.
Light may travel quickly but there are great distances involved. Even
an universe of two is a large place.
Like chemistry, physics is no great
mystery once you have all the equations. Ancient peoples quickly
learned how to plot the movement of points of light
across the sky. Today astronomers know before they even look up where
all the stars will be tonight. How bright the dying star will be, how
much time it has left and how long ago it died. There are few
They look up and watch the stars burn
anyway. The ones that have already burnt out are the loveliest.