She sat next to me on the bench and handed me a cup of coffee.
We sat, staring up at the sky, trying to see stars through the orange and purple New York clouds.
Did I ever tell you the story of the stars? Why they shine at night?
The moon would drive her chariot through the sky, pulling a blanket of dark clouds behind her.
She shone bright, proud. Nothing in the dark sky could compare to her.
Once, as she was bringing darkness, she saw a man sleeping.
She had seen plenty of men before, but never a man of his beauty.
Each night she flew over, slowing her chariot so she could gaze at the sleeping man.
The moon went to her father, the father of all the gods, and begged him to grant the sleeping man eternal life.
Her father consented, but the man was never to wake up, or his age would catch up to him all at once.
The moon flew through the night sky, watching the man sleep.
For years, she watched him sleep, never aging.
The man would tremble at night. Dreams of soft light, of a future, wife and children, disappointments and loves, heartache and laughter. Dreams of things he would never experience, never know.
Each night the moon would drop to the ground, kiss the sleeping man on his forehead. She would take his tears from his cheek and string them up in the sky above him.
Those stars, that we are straining to see, they aren’t stars. They aren’t balls of swirling gasses.
They are wishes and hopes. Promises that never happen.
They are the dreams that seem impossible, but the dreamer never gives up.
We drank our coffee and watched the sky, through the clouds we could see hopes and dreams twinkling in the dark. An airplane flew over head with its blinking red and green lights, maybe another wish, another dream, in this modern time.