Millimeter at a Time
Take Me to the Moon 5.0
“How’s the birthday boy?” Elise jabbed at her brother, Ewan. She grinned to herself, knowing how much he hated parties or celebrations.
Ewan changed the subject. “We need to figure out what we’re doing for dad’s birthday. It’s only a couple of days away.”
Bella and Desmond had moved into the house again, at Alexander and Cassandra’s insistence. Bella may still look no more than 50, and she may appear in great health, but there was no arguing the number of sunrises and sunsets she had witnessed in her very long life. Alexander and Cassandra were worried for their little brother, Desmond, that he needed to be surrounded by family when Bella was no longer able to parent him. On this particular day, Elise, Ewan, and Eric had all taken school holidays, but Desmond was at school.
Today was Ewan’s young adult birthday. Instead of having a party, Ewan wanted to go to the Art Museum, and he asked Eric what he thought about tagging along.
Eric, who is very outgoing, proposed that Ewan should invite some friends. Although he wouldn’t do it on his own, for his little brother, Ewan would do just about anything.
And so it was that Ewan’s former classmate, Simone, and Ewan, Eric, their cousin, Dashle, and Etienne Pancakes travelled to the Oasis Springs museum.
Ewan seemed a little tense about Simone being there, but in school, she had never been anything but friendly. Thankfully, Simone was confident enough in herself not to take his distrustful looks personally.
Ewan quickly left the group and began to tour the works of art. Besides playing around with Eric’s lumps of clay, sculpture had never been an interest of his; it wasn’t something he’d ever had a desire to create. He looked at the fancy busts on the ground floor with a total lack of connection.
He was much more interested in the paintings and screen prints.
Although, Ewan preferred a style which required more technique than this particular painting. Sure, it evoked a feeling of elation that was reminiscent of being at Yuma Heights under the stars, but it was a comic book version of the truth. It brushed over the agonizing doubts that the night sky brought to Ewan’s mind and heart: the nagging feeling that one is a tiny speck, at times feeling virtually insignificant compared to all that exists. Precise and thorough work, fueled by inspiration and creativity, was the only way to create something that was true to Ewan’s experience.
Eric regarded a still life; he was more drawn to motion and sound than these works of two dimensional representation that were so flat.
The three cousins ended up discussing their favorite bands and color theory, oblivious to the rest of the group and the exhibits.
As soon as they returned home, Ewan gave his mom a big hug. Even though he wasn’t leaving home to live on his own, this birthday symbolized his transition to being responsible for himself. Perhaps he was thankful for the home his parents had provided for him, and the acceptance and love that was so easy to take for granted.
Marking the day with a celebration had to be faced, whether Ewan wanted to or not; his family wasn’t going to let it slide. He was too important to them for them to pretend it wasn’t a big day. They did give him space as he blew out the candles.
Ewan approached the start of his adult life with trepidation. Would he be able to live it well, to manage his life and its stress, and add some value to the world? The pressure he put on himself was immense; the lens he saw the world through was one that did not filter out any of the sadness. His creativity felt as much a burden as a gift, because of his gloomy perfectionism.
After they ate cake, Delaney tried to cheer up her eldest son.
“Mom, what have I done of any use in my life?! I’m an adult now, and I’ve yet to create anything of real value!”
Delaney listened, and when Ewan started to calm down, she told him about the amazing coral flowers of moon N 62.3 near Canoris Majoris. These corals, similar to earth’s, grow only millimeters a year, but their beauty is not only visually striking, they emit a fragrance which triggers an essential neurotransmitter in the sentient beings on that planet that allows them to experience empathy for others. The “glue” that holds that society together, is created by these exceptionally slow-growing flora.
“Well, Ewan’s probably not going to live that long, nor is he part of a colony of polyps or interconnected beings, so he’s going to have be a tad more efficient with his time,” Elise chipped in.
“How about a game of chess,” Delaney asked Elise, thinking to give Ewan a break from Elise’s jeers. Elise felt that it was a primary directive of sentient beings to tell the truth, even if it hurts. In fact, she made sure those around her had plenty of practice at accepting painful truths regularly, and carefully observed their reactions.
Elise, ironically, struggled quite a lot with accepting the painful truth that her logic skill just could not compete with her mom’s or dad’s. She often found something absorbing on her phone about the time that the tide turned against her in chess games.
Delaney never rubbed it in, no matter how quickly she defeated her daughter at chess.
- Bella has lived 96 days according to the game, and she still has most of her elder bar left to go. She might even out-live Alexander, but I’m not taking any chances after losing Barnaby without a grave marker. I actually already aged up Alexander, which will be in the next post, and he looks so much older than his mom, so weird!
- It’s probably pretty easy to guess I was hoping that Ewan would like Simone, but he just gave her that horrible look and ignored her. And they are technically friends!! I guess he’s still unwilling to have his heart hurt again.
- After having cake, “Deep Conversation” was the topic of discussion that Ewan was so intense about. And Elise (who has a mean trait,) just sat there smiling. Her mom did beat her really quickly in chess, though.