Outer space is following me. It started with the stars in the water. I fed them accidentally.
I made a sandwich for a midnight picnic. I thought a walk and a snack would help me sleep.
I packed a thermos full of tea, my sandwich in my pocket. I slipped my boots onto my feet and tromped out with my jacket.
The sky was clear, the moon was bright, the wind felt like it might want a bite. I’d only packed on sandwich, though. The wind was on its own.
Out behind the neighbor’s house, careful not to make a peep, I settled at the water’s edge, thinking I might watch fish sleep.
Thermos at the ready, a rock for my seat, I took out my sandwich and looked down past my feet. There looking back were the stars come to play.
I have to be honest, I yelped in a very undignified way.
You have to understand, stars are the worst. The level of cheek is astounding. They twinkle and glitter, they’ll beg ’til you sway. They’re worse than puppies, they’re worse than ghosts out in day!
I was so startled to see them that I dropped my peanut butter sandwich right into the water.
Did I mention stars boast? And they like dreams wrapped in peanut butter. By the way. They’re really the worst.
I had dreams of a good night’s sleep wrapped into that sandwich. Not big dreams, but there they were.
Accident or not, sandwiches are great fun for celestial bodies, and they are shameless. One little sandwich is all it took. I found planets in my bathtub, asteroids in my roast, galaxies in my blankets and, of course, the stars came out the most.
“Don’t feed the strays,” my mother always said, “they’ll never leave then.”
And now I guess it’s safe to say stars are no exception.
At the very least, the meteors stay off the couch and Pluto keeps from underfoot, and when my father calls to complain about mom’s cats, I can trade him stories fairly.
About Aries who twinkles too brightly past dark and Taurus pushing books off the shelves, about Gemini who cuddles for absurdly long spells, and Boötes who likes to stay at your heels, and about space making pillows unfathomably cold and wide. (Don’t ask me why it likes to hide.)
But to be honest, though, I guess I don’t really mind. When you come home from a long day, they’re not bad friends to find.