We were in our twenties, unmarried, living with my mother. Our baby was not yet one, crawling, a lot of work, a joy. But I was always tired, and I did not want to wake up at three in the morning to drive 8 miles to a regional park hilltop to watch the meteor shower. I wanted to stay in bed to try to steal back all the sleep that I'd missed since the baby was born.
But my not-yet husband got out of bed and left me there, now, of course, wide awake, staring at the ceiling in the dark room. He drove to the park, parked, hiked up the hill in the early morning dark, spreading out a blanket and staring up at the ceiling of the sky, waiting for the show.
What did he see in that sky? Did he see what I could not 8 miles away in the bedroom of my mother's house? Did he see that we would get married and that it would be a long marriage that did not work? Did he see that times would be good and hard and good and hard? Was he scared up on that hilltop, alone with the creatures and bugs and maybe other people who had driven to see what nature would only give up at night? Or did he just see the fan of stars flying in the sky, a whir of white against the purple blue black of the sky above him?
And what did I see, awake in the bed, awake despite myself, awake even though I had been given permission to sleep? Did I see our marriage, one where two people went in opposite directions? Did I see the night ceiling of the future, 25 years later, both of us staring at different ceilings in different houses, sleeping next to different people? Or did I just think about the sleep I was not having?
All I know is that he came home later, cold as anything I've ever felt, cold to the bone, turned into a thing of the outside he'd been in.
"I saw meteors," he said. "Stars. A fan of stars."
Causes Jessica Inclán Supports
Women for Women International Goodwill Industries Lindsey Wildlife Museum Freecycle.org