The Last Bite and the Falling Star
January 9, 2012 § 1 Comment
Last week I went to a dance jam organized by a friend of mine on the island. While getting dressed, I pulled out of my storage bin an old sweatshirt that belonged to someone from my distant past. I’d contemplated giving this sweatshirt away to the thrift store as I hadn’t worn it in close to two years. But on this particular evening, I thought it looked so great that I might even re-adopt it into my wardrobe.
I have what therapists call “unresolved feelings” with the original owner of this sweatshirt, but I was willing to push them aside on this particular dark and starry night, for the sake of fashion.
At the dance, I removed the sweatshirt as the night went on, and the music tempo quickened. A tank top was all that was needed now in the heat of the little dance hall.
A few hours later, I put the sweatshirt back on and zipped it up to my neck and headed to the bathroom outside.
Suddenly, I felt a sharp and painful sting sink deep into my left shoulder. Had I just been stung by a bee? No, that wasn’t quite it. The sting grew stronger and stronger and then, unexpectedly, a sadness started to well up in the centre of my heart. I felt like a valiant athlete who’d just broken a bone out on the playing field and was bravely fighting back tears. I quickly removed the sweatshirt to look at my shoulder and as I did revealed a two-inch dark brown wolf spider lurking in the sleeve. The little being who’d bitten me in the darkness.
While the sting started to subside, my feelings didn’t, so I left the dance early and walked out to my car in the glassy and quiet winter night. I dragged the sweatshirt along by one sleeve, and then threw it into a garbage bag in the back of my station wagon and took off in the direction of home, still unsettled.
I drove for about ten minutes and then rounded the hillside on the main road heading into town from the north end of the island.
Suddenly, as I was descending the hill, a glowing round star, plump like a ripe fig that would be fragile to the touch, fell as if in slow motion, from the top of the sky and directly in front of my car, straight down into Ganges harbour.
A singular cosmic firework that fate had put me in square sight of.
I felt so pleased by this experience, which appeared to me like a celebratory, even joyous exclamation from the universe, that I couldn’t help but to wonder if maybe I’d just by happenstance resolved all those feelings I’d left unfelt, and if, better yet, I’d just been bitten for the very last time.