Sunday, October 09, 2005


I spent the last hour staring at Mars. The god of war. The red light in the dark October night sky. Armed with Glennlivet and surrounded by swirling cigar smoke, I sat in pajamas and leather half-boots, in the dark, in the cold. I stared at Mars, and Mars stared back.

I wondered whether Spirit or Opportunity were watching us in the sunset over the Martian horizon. I wondered whether I'd still be alive when humans reach the red soil and bring the rovers back home.

I wondered whether there was anyone else in the neighborhood sitting outside in their pajamas. If so, were they watching Mars? Were they cold? Why didn't they go inside?

I heard the barking of a squirrel, which in case you've never heard it, sounds a little like you'd expect a squirrel to sound if you inflated it with a tire pump and then stepped on it. Squirrels bark to warn other squirrels of danger. I wondered what danger there could be for a squirrel on a quiet night like this. I then realized that a simple cat could spell arma-fricken-geddon for a furry nut-gathering woodland rodent. I wondered whether I could help by sending Strider out in the yard, but then laughed at the thought. Besides, he was sleeping soundly upstairs behind the sofa.

I saw blue light bouncing from the neighbor's window and wondered whether he was watching anything remotely interesting, which led to thoughts about Battlestar Galactica and whether the Cylons might be the good guys, and whether we are rooting for the wrong team.

I wondered whether I'd ever write a book. I wondered whether I'd ever open a strip club. I wondered whether I'd ever hold high office. I wondered what the howler monkey will be when she grows up.

As the cigar burned to the nub, I thought again of Mars, and the musical interpretation of it by Gustav Holst. I thought of Star Wars, and wondered why John Williams never caught shit for ripping off the suite. It was appropriate, I suppose. Darth was the bringer of war, and Lucas was doing his fair share of "sampling," so why shouldn't the composer lift a few notes?

If you get the chance, and can find a dark place to sit, go look at Mars. I wonder what you'll wonder about.


  1. Anonymous9:40 AM

    The words "chunks" and "dog" said in a thick southern accent, the ink drying on divorce papers, the love of cheese, crushed ice, and whip cream, why do I put my car keys in a different spot when I get home, fog horns and ladders. All things I thought of while looking at Mars.

  2. Ah, yes, the red planet has a strange effect of people...


Be compelling.

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