Life on the Moon

Douglas Watson

Well, so there’s life on the moon. Little spiderlike things, they say—a marvelous discovery. Nine legs, not eight, but otherwise the classic spider look. Translucent whitish little buggers creeping about on the white-rock face of the moon. Who knew?

Already they have crawled into the vernacular, these “moon spiders.” Already, a week after the discovery, it is difficult to remember a time when, for us, there were no spiders—no life at all—upon the moon.

I may as well report (not that the thoughts of a lowly middle-school science teacher count for much) that I preferred the old, lifeless moon. Life has its corollary, after all. No longer may a troubled earthbound soul look out at the moon and think: There at least nothing dies.

But I suppose if I were on the moon and didn’t know any better, I would look at the earth and say to myself, There I wouldn’t be alone.

Douglas Watson’s book of stories, The Era of Not Quite, will be published by BOA Editions in 2013. He holds an MFA from Ohio State and was a Tennessee Williams Scholar at this year’s Sewanee Writers’ Conference. He lives in Brooklyn and is writing a short novel about love and death.