A book printed inside a book: halfway through, there’s the title page again, and the table of contents and the rest of it. You think, I’ve just read this, but you find yourself reading it again anyway, anxious to find out what will happen when you get to the middle. What happens is that suddenly you are back into unexplored territory, and you feel both lost and relieved. You get to the last page, and look: the outer book resumes where it left off, halfway through.
You set it aside. Does the cicada climb back into its shell? The book within the book has already crawled out and is waiting for its wings to dry.
In your spam folder, one of the messages purporting to originate at your own address reads: Hey, why do not you write? You forgot about me? Outside, the moon is at perigee — the closest it gets to earth all year. Perhaps that accounts for the numbing cold.
You fumble with the camera settings, shorten one of the tripod legs so the camera can stand on the slope, and peer through the LCD screen. The moon is the very same color as the lamp on your desk. Tonight it has a companion, too: Mars is just a hand’s-breadth away. You try to picture yourself as a red planet.