MODERN ASTRONOMY

“I’m always especially tired after twelve hours of consciousness,” Ryan stated, “but today was different.”

“How’s that?” Ted asked.

“I actually had an idea for a poem. Actually, I probably would’ve written it as a short story, but I didn’t end up writing it because I thought it would’ve been a stupid story.”

Ted, surprised, replied, “Ryan, weren’t you just complaining the other day that your ‘well of inspiration’ had become a thimble of mediocrity’? Just tell me what your little poem was about, and I’ll let you know what I think about it. You oughtn’t be so hard on yourself.”

“Well, you won’t be impressed, and it would’ve been a short story, not a poem.”

“Get on with it, man!”

Ryan cleared his throat and collected his thoughts so he could clearly explain, “The story goes like this: There’s this astrologer… or astronomer, some guy who studies space; well, this guy is looking through his telescope one day and he sees a planet, or star, or something of that sort that’s so far away and blurry he can’t be sure what it is. What he can see of it, though, he finds to be the most beautiful object in space he’s ever seen. He knows maybe this is all in his head, you know, like he subconsciously knows that he’s overdoing it. One day the observatory he works for upgrades to a more powerful telescope, but he never zooms in on that beautiful body even though he can. He doesn’t want to find out that the thing that inspired him and occupied his creative mind, was just another ball of gas or chunk of rock.

That’s basically it, except I would’ve written it with more detail and with a dramatic feel. I can see it on your face that you weren’t impressed. I told you you wouldn’t be impressed.”

“Well, first thing is your story wasn’t stupid. Seriously,” Ted said in an almost patronizing voice.

“Enough of that. What was it, do you think?”

“Honestly, it’s just starting to bother me that your story was just another of your typical whining-romantic themes. It’s obvious that the star represents that Girl. I’m just trying to say that these types of stories, in excess of course, tend to warp your mind from a sensitively sentimental one into a morbidly depressed one.”

“What do you mean?”

“You still like Her, and you never stopped liking Her. It frustrates me to see you doing this to yourself. That wounded heart is self-inflicted.”

“I don’t like Her! You’re being very rude.”

“I thought you’d want me to be honest.”

“You’ve just got to feel like you’ve got everyone figured out, don’t you?”

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