by Matthew Rush
The Quintessentially Questionable Query Experiment
Babysat by the Man in the Moon
Mom drove. Dad navigated. They let me sit in the way back of our funny Peugeot Station Wagon. I sat and watched the grey river below and the green walls above fall away like the world was collapsing in upon itself.
It felt funny when we stopped. Then the entire world rushed back at me as if to say hello. It sort of felt like falling up and made my tummy tickle.
We stopped for Dungeoness Crab at a fancy restaurant with white tablecloths and waiters dressed up like penguins. I loved watching the alien monsters crawl all over each other in the tank. Pincers, eyes and antennae; they clicked against the glass lethargically but I imagined they were ancient warriors of an elder race who fought for honor among the crustacean tribes.
Later my dad cracked them open and I ate their legs. Mom said they were liquid inside until someone cooked them. That was gross but they tasted good with warm butter like runny egg yolk.
We drove into the Horse Heaven Hills for the Eclipse. Suddenly I was on the moon, the furthest reaches of space within my grasp. I reached out and caught hold of a distant star in the palm of my little hand. I was the Eater of Worlds! So I plucked a white dwarf down from Heaven and placed it lovingly into my mouth.
On the way home I tried to watch the grey river flow away below us, but it was dark and I was sleepy.
I yawned, laid back and watched the moon as he chased us across the sky. He looked cold and distant, like grandpa after he got sick, but still he looked down on me and never fell behind no matter how fast or how far we drove. His light was weak and thin outside but when it melted through the window it poured over my face like cool alpine mist. Delightful.
I relaxed as I listened to the tires sing a lullaby against the asphalt. Soothing.
I fell asleep watching that silly old man's face as he followed us across the world, never quite catching up but always watching over and enveloping me in a blanket of silver comfort. Dreaming.