Friday, 28 October 2011

More things in heaven and earth

The evening is crisp and cold, the twilight sky a deepening blue. The Resident Fan Boy throws on his jacket, and I follow, enfolding myself in my cape and slipping on my glow-in-the-dark skeleton gloves.

No, we're not going out Hallowe'ening; I wear a cape and skeleton gloves every autumn. (This may be why people hesitate before sitting beside me on public transit.)

The RFB has just read in the paper that the space station will be passing overhead in a matter of minutes. We've seen the space station before, stepping out in a freezing February twilight two and a half years ago in aid of younger daughter's science homework. Younger daughter doesn't have space homework tonight, and elects to stay inside and watch Anne of Green Gables.

Knots of people scuttle by on the street; mostly under-dressed, probably in quest of Friday night frolics. We scan the northwest sky and glance at our watches.

"There it is!" shouts the Resident Fan Boy. I can't see a thing and look at him warily.

"You can't see it?" He's incredulous. "Look! Just above the telephone wires."

And I gasp. It's suddenly there, just like last time, a bright ball barrelling eastward across the northern part of the sky. We run up to Putman and track it.

"Are you sure it's not a plane?" I ask, but I know it isn't. It's too high and too fast. As our eyes are drawn to the east, I exclaim and point: "Look!"
"There, between the trees!"

A bigger and brighter point of light has appeared. It's Jupiter. The paper warned us about that too. It looks like the two brilliant pin-pricks are going to collide, but they're not. They're impossibly far away -- from each other and from us.

Shivering, we hurry back inside. The Resident Fan Boy has brought eclairs and vanilla slices from la Pâtisserie de Gascogne in Westmount in Montreal.
They're pretty heavenly too.


ptooie said...

It is awe-inspiring to watch the ISS go by, isn't it! My husband got our girls hooked, and he keeps tabs on some website. I believe tomorrow evening we are all being dragged outside to look for it again.
There's never any pastries waiting for me inside, though.

Persephone said...

I think you need to make it a condition for being dragged out....