Mesic 3

Wherein jerry fears for his safety after gaining
anonymous notoriety for his book of poems called Moon


Jerry did not completely share my grandfather's belief that technology was amoral and would sometimes wonder to what purpose his work was being applied. He was a meticulous mechanical engineer but suffered inexplicable lapses of concentration which confounded his superiors. They questioned his loyalty. His problem was he had a conscience. He had enough common sense to see that not every solution was beautiful or beneficial to mankind. Those that were could be absolutely sublime, balancing forces which could never be seen or quantified but only intuitively felt in the deepest abstract reaches of the mathematical mind, the luminescent essence lost when put into words. But even insights wherein the fundamental order of the universe flickers in tantalizing glimpses of recognition familiar as a memory--only to dissolve when too firmly grasped the way dim stars seen peripherally disappear to a direct gaze--paled now in comparison to the feelings, inscrutable as pi, stirred in him by my mother's fathomless eyes. She exerted an influence over him beyond the power of physics to explain, a tidal yearning irresistible as the ocean's futile surging to embrace the moon and swallow its light.

At least that's what he was trying to express through his poetry. He had never written a poem before meeting my mother He always woke a minute before the alarm. Before the day could assemble itself into its immutable shape he transcribed his latest dream onto the sheets of graph paper he kept on his bedside table, one letter to a light blue box. It was more fun than balancing equations!

He was true to his dreams except he substituted the moon for my mother in describing his desire.

After work he'd go with a pot of steaming pork-head soup and flowers wrapped in the day's graph paper poem. The flowers went into a vase, displacing the previous day's still-lovely blooms, the paper she crumpled and slipped into her apron as if to throw it away.

My father grew jealous when my sister, who saw everything, brought him a sheet of the poetry which my mother thought she had carefully hidden. My father was not jealous of Jerry's thinly veiled designs on my mother but rather the immediacy of the emotion. It was an editor's jealousy. My father ordered my sister to collect all the poems and then to her chagrin assembled them into a manuscript which he saw to it was published anonymously. "Mesic," which means moon or month, caused a sensation and put Jerry in the impossible position of being a celebrity with no name. In a country where people read poetry it was the most popular book of its day, the authorship of which he could never acknowledge.

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