Sometimes We Are What We Seem, but Other Times We Are Something Else: the Vacancy

by Ingrid Jendrzejewski

The Vacancy

When I tell you I applied to be the moon, you just laugh. The moon? you ask. You have to be a little bit crazy to be the moon! I know, I say. I am, aren’t I? You raise your eyebrows and leave for work, a smile on your lips.

Personally, I think I am uniquely qualified for such a position. I spend my most conscientious hours awake at night, silently watching over our restless little one, my face peering down, full and sleepless, quiet and trenched. My dark arms wrap around her smallness: I am so close and part of her that she forgets I’m something different from the night itself. We hold ourselves in that wasteland between twilight and daybreak when nobody but the infants and troubled and death-sick and mothers are straining.

And then, after and before such vigils, I go about the day as if I am a different entity: I pack lunches. I sweep the porch. I peel oranges. I post birthday cards. In the dawn and dusk, I kiss you goodbye and hello. I am, otherwise, unseen; in the light of the day, my giant moon face shrivels until it is only the size of an average human head.

 

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