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I saw the moon and the moon saw me

     And it winked. At me. Or is it a she? Or a he? Anyway, honest—she/he/it winked at me. I even took a picture. I'd show it to you but you can't see the wink. Or the grin. Only a small yellowish blob in the sky, kind'a blurry.  

     It was a dark and stormy night. . . I lie. It was a clear night; the moon was full. I was driving down a dark, deserted road—mostly deserted at that time of night. It was when I rounded the first curve that the moon popped out in front of me in its full splendor. You know how you feel when you suddenly see a moon so full it couldn't eat another bite and so golden it takes your breath away.

     It winked? It sure did. Its face—sorry, moon, I don't know what gender you are so I'm using the non-decisive "it" for now—its face could be seen clear as could be. One eye was winking, half-closed, the other was open. There was no nose on its face but a conspiratorial happy grin shaped its mouth. Like we knew something the world didn't. I smiled back. Couldn't help it.

     Was it really grinning at me? Was my imagination running wild? Nope! The road was long and dark with curves every so often and I was enjoying the after-effects of my recent intake of Menchie's frozen yogurt in my favorite flavors—coffee, caramel and fudge topped off with walnuts and a dab of marshmallow syrup. Am I making you hungry? Good! This is the season to be merry and hungry, ready for all those Christmas cookies and candies.

     I digress. The moon. Sometimes you can't make out the face on the moon; sometimes you can. This particular night the face was indisputably there. And I loved it. How could I not? It was winking at me and grinning like we were up to something. Rounding more curves I lost sight of my friend for a minute or two before it reappeared. Still winking and smiling.

     I wanted so badly to show it to my friends and family but they weren't there. Oh! A picture! I'll take a picture of it. Not sure how it'll turn out in the dark, but I have to try. I drove on, watching for a place to pull over. Five minutes later I pulled into a gated estate entrance. Got out of the car with my phone, aimed at the moon—so far up above and disappointingly smaller now—and pressed the photo circle.

     Guess I told you, up there at the beginning, the photo didn't help my case. The moon had shrunk a bit by then and all I got was a picture of a huge, black sky with a few houses at the bottom and a blurry yellow circle sort of in the middle of the sky.

     So. You have to believe me. Or not. I have no evidence; only my word. But then—maybe I wasn't the only one the moon winked at that night. Maybe it winked at you! Maybe I have some witnesses to corroborate my story. I might not know where they are, but my friend the moon surely does. He—it, she—sees the whole world. Maybe he winked at someone in Afghanistan or Paris or my hometown of Orono in Maine.

     I'll never know, unless you tell me it winked at you, but what I do know is what I saw and it's firmly lodged in my brain—and in my heart. A Christmas rendezvous with a winking, smiling moon and a mystery—I'll probably never know what that conspiratorial grin was about, what mischief we were cooking up.

     Maybe it was just this column. . .

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