Thursday, August 10, 2017

Story 198: Why Does the Moon Do That?!

She stood at the edge of the shore, staring at the full Moon in the daytime sky as the high tide smacked her feet.
“All right, what’s wrong,” her brother mildly grumbled, resenting the delay as he dragged his boogie board behind him.  “You’re usually in there before I am, and I don’t see any sharks today.”
“I just got to thinking – ” she started.
“Stop!”  He tried to cut her off at the philosophical pass.  “We’re in beach mode, and the only time you should be thinking is when you’re caught in a rip tide.  Or when you lost where our umbrella is, `cause then you’d be wandering forever, again.”
She still had not looked away from the Moon.  “I got to thinking about that,” she pointed at it.  “And the waves, and the tides.”
“Yeah?  So?”
“Well, we all just accept that the Moon’s gravity makes the tides high and low and all that.”
“Yeah?  So?”
“So if the Moon’s that powerful, why isn’t it affecting us the same way?”
“I mean, look at those massive waves!”
“Yes!  Look at those massive waves that you are making me miss!”
“And that water’s pretty dense and heavy, right?”
“Uh… I guess?”
“So how come we aren’t being pulled around like that?”
“Cause we’re not water?”
“But we’re lighter than the entire ocean, and it’s constantly being pushed around by a giant rock millions of miles away, so how come nothing else is getting pushed around?!”  She was very disturbed by this.  “Why not your board, why not that jellyfish, WHY NOT THAT BABY?!”
“Take it easy; you’re gonna start freaking people out,” he said as he subtly began to  disassociate himself from her.  “Look, I don’t remember physics class that much at all, but I’m sure there’s other stuff besides the Moon doing this, and it’s something in the water itself that lets the Moon act on it like this and leave the rest of us alone.  As should you.”
“Does it?”
“Does it what?”
“Leave us alone?”  She stared in horror at the faint satellite.  “Look at it up there, hovering like a ghost, pulling on us and trying to take us away from our planet – I bet our own blood is being drawn toward it as we speak.”
He now looked at the Moon as if really seeing it for the first time, feeling an uncomfortable sense of dread with the once-familiar object having such control over their lives.  He shook it off in the next moment.
“I’ve wasted too much time talking about this with you: either it’s going to fall out of its orbit one day and kill us all, or it’s going to keep on as it always has, but either way I’m not going to let you make me spend another thought on it.”  He did as he promised and jumped into the roiling sea for some serious shredding.
She continued to stare at the Moon and the waves, both of which now seemed ominous.  The walls of water mindlessly rearing up and crashing forward, ever forward, had become intensely creepy.  What if there were no more Moon up there? she thought.  Would these waves be as insistent as they are now?  If the Moon orbited closer and closer to Earth, would the ocean waves continue forever until they fell off the planet and landed on the Moon they so desperately reached for?  Would all things on Earth do the same, given the chance?
She really regretted watching that movie last night about planets colliding – her summer vacation was absolutely ruined.


  1. Love the last sentence.Certain movies should not be watched.

  2. Thank you very much! Yes, they have a tendency to alter your perspective :-).