Heavy moon full and fat shines bright in the pre-dawn, stars surrounding it made dull by its splendor. No light pollution, no cities nearby to blast photons skyward and ruin the illusion of pristine wilderness. Deciduous trees stand vigilant and block peripherals like porous walls. It is the moon, it is the night, it is the forest, the unseasonable warmth for autumn is expected. In the summer it is unbearable, in the winter it is uncanny, but right now it feels natural.
Before the bombs, in my younger and more optimistic years, my father gave me some advice that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since. “Whenever you feel like criticizing any one,” he told me, “Just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had.” He didn’t say any more, but we’ve always been unusually communicative in a reserved way, and I understood that he meant a great deal more than that.