I saw the comet. Comet McNaught.
It looked like it was going to plunge into Casino. The sun was slipping behind the mountains leaving a red glow. And there it was. The comet. Diving into the horizon, its tail spreading in the cosmic winds.
How many times do you have a fiery visitor from outer space come so close you can see it in daylight?
I wasnt scared. I was a bit concerned though, about the future of Beef Week. I had my cowboy hat on just in case. (Its a Gympie thing. With a white Bob Berg on your head, youre ready for anything. Party or comet crash. Beach sun or epilepsy-inducing disco lights.)
We were gathered at the beach. Under comet light and mirror ball. The tribal connections are diverse younger, older; feral, financial; friend, lover.
Away from the dancing, eating, drinking and talking, I sat on a sandy knoll from where I could see across the water to the just-lit lights of Evans Head. Alone.
I was sweating hard Id sort of expected that. Its a hard pill to swallow.
I sat cross-legged and looked out with my eyes shut.
Are you lonely, oh comet? All those miles, all youve seen, all by yourself.
A person I love is looking for me. I can tell. I cant love her enough. I want her to find me. But she doesnt. (She used to...)
The comet may well fizzle out in some vast icy place. No-one to see it. No-one to admire its gorgeous tail as it splutters out like a cheap torch in an outdoor dunny. Makes me sad.
That comet came within 25,000 kilometres of the sun six times closer than this planet. How exciting! What an experience!
But what for? With whom does it share its tale?
Im scared of the sun. It burns. I think Im not brave enough to be a comet.
But I guess the comet didnt just decide to be a comet. Its not like one day comet-boy is groovin in a harmonious little galaxy situation, rotating predictably around and around, maybe engaged in a private waltz with a heavenly body, when it suddenly skips an orbit and says, Bugger it. Im off.
It takes more than whimsy to break the bonds of electro-magnetic attraction. There must have been an issue of some gravity...It was staring down a black hole.
Anyway, as night fell like a final curtain at the end of Act IIor IIIor CXXVIor whatever it is, I could see that Casino wasnt burning. Beef Queen was saved.
My spirit flew out to it. (You get ecstasy through connection.)My coma and the comets combined. I read its tail. It made me happy.
Will you remember this planet, Comet McNaught? The exhilaration of kissing the sun? Are you sad to leave? Is your tail made of frozen tears? Are there lots of worlds youve gotten close to? (There are lots of worlds, eh comet? Lots of worlds)
I pulled my hat over my eyes and returned to the party. A doofin galaxy of worlds.