Sunday, January 11, 2015

Mr. Phelps, Vincent, and all that glitters is gold

He stood looking at his floor that now looked like the night sky.  A small pile of silver glitter lay near the window and trailed back toward the door.  As Maxwell stood gazing in the morning light that filtered through his one, large living room window, he felt like the night sky had miraculously transposed itself onto his floor. Somehow, the night before, the window became slightly ajar and the glitter had gently drifted and spread.  He blamed it on the cat. 

“The Pleiades,” he thought as he wandered around the room looking at the glitter. It caught the morning sun and sparkled onto the walls. He was careful to avoid stepping in it.  “Seven sisters, and… well…” He paused. Stepping over the line that trailed to the door, he decided he needed a tune to inspire the morning’s star gazing.  He carefully put the needle down on Don Mclean’s “Vincent.”  Piano rifts followed him around as he tried to figure out what the line looked like.  “Orion’s Belt, maybe?” He startled himself because he didn’t think he was talking out loud.  “Three kings, seven sisters, seems to fit.” He said, to no one in particular.

His cat, Mr. Phelps, lifted his head when Maxwell spoke.   The music didn't bother him and he could sleep through most of it, but he wasn’t use to Maxwell talking, so he opened his blue, Siamese eyes.  He had just retired to the chair in the sun after the startling events from the previous night.  She came in so quickly and quietly that Mr. Phelps didn’t notice her until she bumped into the corner of the table. He moved with equal silence to the upper shelves of the record collection to watch the intruder.

Maxwell looked up at the cat and said, “Well, Mr. Phelps, all my star gazing on the rooftop has paid off.” He loved the night sky. Most nights, before work, he was up on the roof gazing through the cheap telescope someone had long forgotten.  Today, he was disappointed that the telescope had plunge, inexplicably to it's death.  Maxwell wanted it back. 

As he dozed on the couch, he remembered watching the meteor shower from the night before.  He smiled.  “A starry, starry night, Mr. Phelps, a starry night, Vincent.” Before slipping off to sleep, he looked at the thick swirls from the Van Gogh print hanging from the wall. 

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