Translating the Moon
[ fiction - march 06 ]
The pallor of the Moon played with the concrete roads. I had left my room for a brisk walk in the chilly night, being tortured enough by my solitude in my room. A walk always makes me talk with myself, and the solitude disappears on its own. My fingers were slightly stained with ink, but that did not bother me now. On the corner of the main street, in a dingy courtyard, I saw two infants not more than a year old, argue in cat language. They had a method in their argument that could be related to the fight of cats. Cats always fight like gentlemen: unlike dogs, who fight like rowdies.
As I neared them, the topic became slightly apparent. They were arguing about the Moon and its relation to poetry. They glanced, one after the other, at me, and it seemed that those dark moons which were their eyes in the daytime, now were no less incandescent than the Moon itself. They didn't find my eavesdropping bothersome. Generally, I guess, because they thought that the topic was too vague for any simple soul to grasp. They carried on with their verbal dance. I distinctly heard one of them quoting Leonardo Da Vinci as follows: "The moon, dense and heavy, dense and heavy, how is it with the moon?" It seemed that they were bothered about so many instances in literature where the Moon finds its place, and the Sun hardly mentioned, as if in passing: never inspiring beauty, nothing more than a line. They reasoned out that the Moon merely reflected the Sun's brightness, and thus should have been logically less inspiring since it was "dead" and not "alive" as the Sun. They were about to hit the point that I had seen coming: that humans were, in general, bad versifiers. But I realized that they were far from such a notion. They themselves have worshipped the Moon along with the owls. So they thought of a less blasphemous reason for the approach of humans in literature. One said that "they must have wanted only to hint at the beauty, the intensity of the Sun, and what is a better hint, a better ideal beauty than the Sun's reflection." Then the other in the same vein: "the Sum himself can never be pondered upon with ease and delight, whereas the Moon appears like a beautiful princess does in a mirror, in her dreams." They went on arguing in this manner until I was convinced that they were indeed cats. I did not stir, nor did their poise shake. The Moon glowed his dull, droopy eye at me. I was never stared with lesser inattention and unconcern. "At least for the cats," I thought, "they have the Moon." I realized that cats had a far more tenacious take on poetry than we ever had, and I ran home and tried my best to believe what I had just heard and seen.