Orion’s Disappearing Belt
You know, there are occasional days when I just go to roof and look at the sky. It’s something that I have been doing for a very long time ever since I was a kid. It isn’t something to do with astronomy, though that is a subject I hope to pick up one day. Rather, the mood was that of curiosity. Exploration. An existential crisis. Or possibly depression.
When I used to be incredibly depressed during the days of 11th and 12th grade (It really is a Pan India Depression Fest for those 2 years), sitting on the roof was one of the ways I used to release the pressure. Most of my friends were either studying or had moved away from the old colony. While I used to immerse myself mostly in videogames, there were a few days when the roof was a nice idea. The breeze would occasionally lift spirits, it wasn’t too sunny and you could just watch from above as people went about their day. Life moved on. The kids in the streets, the adults getting groceries, the occasional shouting matches. You could never hear anything, but you did get the idea from above. But Besides the ol’ sunset and bats flying around in the evening, there really wasn’t anything to see in the sky until night fell.
It was beautiful. For those unacquainted with the night sky, I recommend this acquaintance, for it may lead to love. I used to have a merry time simply looking up at the stars and wondering what lay there. I never knew Sirius or the North Star or anything in the sky really. I only knew of but one constellation.
Orion is generally distinct in the night sky if you know what you’re looking for. While I did crane my neck the first million times looking at the night sky, Orion made it all the more worth it. Once you find the belt of the 3 stars, the rest is easy to map it by yourself.
Over the years I kept him in mind. I would always search for my old friend wherever I went. Any time i was atop a place high enough to be able to observe the stars, I would seek him out. Before the journey of my mind into the vast ocean of space, he was the guide who would comfort me should I be scared.
Alas, these days he is hardly present in the sky. Light pollution has done a bang up job hiding the poor old bugger, and I must admit that I miss him. In fact, I can hardly remember the last time I saw any stars in the sky. Forget the wonders of space, now it feels like I’m stuck in a ball with blue wallpaper. The moon is a right old useless prick, waning and waxing as he pleases, giving no regard for the people on Earth who might be looking for a friend.
And so I am left with blue wallpaper and selfish prick. Lovely. No wonders of space, no thoughts of what will happen to us a million years from now. What about life on other planets or humanity reaching for the stars?
I suppose it is childish. What can I complain, considering I too am part of the people I curse (Rules for thee but not for me)? Who do I blame for this? No one I suppose, but a name might make it easier. What do I do then? Should I go and search for stars on my computer? Should I go to a lonely island away from the comforts I have, for a nice reunion with an old friend?
I like the latter idea, but time is something I have given up on. Not time as a concept, mind you. Just my ability to make time for anything. Becoming old is part and parcel of not having time (and vice versa). But one day, I’ll pack a bag and go for the mountains to meet him again. It’ll likely be hard, most certainly be foolish, and will probably result in the ol’ back pain.
I think I’ll pack a sandwich for him.