Wednesday, April 16, 2008

35. Do you wish on stars?

All the freakin time.

Reading back entries of Aquarius' blog I discovered that I was quite behind courtesy of a trip to my grandmother's house where there is no internet, a new job and a new kitten to be enchanted by. That was when I discovered a meme, or questionnaire or whatever you call those things.

No. 35. Do you wish on stars?

And I didn't realize until just then how often I really do wish on stars.

I used to make a very big deal of identifying which star I saw first. I still do to a lesser extent now. But back then, when I was little, it was a very big deal. Because that whole first star I see tonight bit was very important to me ... even though I was never sure of the entire rhyme. But I was absolutely certain that it had to be the very first star your eye settled on that night or your wish was no good. That you had to focus hard on that star while concentrating on your wish or the connection wouldn't be made.

And of course, if you actually saw one star first and wished on a second one, even accidentally, you had just voided your wish.

Now I'm much better at remembering which star my eyes first latched on to. But now my problem is discerning whether or not I'm really staring at Mars. I could be wrong but I really think that Mars has been sitting low on the Eastern horizon lately. At least in the evening. That or there's a big star that flickers kinda reddish in the same position.

Oh and then when you really get far away from cities you can sometimes see satellites booking it across the sky when they're near the horizon and it's just after dark. When I first saw one of those I thought my sight was going, then I thought I was crazy -- no way was there any star or plane wandering that fast through that many constellations -- and then I talked it out with someone that there are times when we can see satellites and, whew, I'm not crazy. But you still can't wish on them, even if you thought they were a shooting star at first.

But a real shooting star? That's precious.

When I see a falling star I almost don't know what to do with it. It's almost too precious to use. And so I hold my eyes open wide until they water, trying not to blink, and I almost stop breathing as I try to gather just the right wish to the tip of my tongue, all the while feeling like I'm holding that shooting star in place of those words, just behind my teeth, and if I can't find the right wish quickly the star will melt on my tongue like candy and it'll all be wasted and over.

There's absolutely no logic to any of this, I know. But if there's anything left over from my childhood that remains completely undiluted by the rest of the world, it's wishing on a star.

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