My cough scares my dog. Badly enough to make him want to pee.
So I get up at 11:45 to let him out. Everyone's lights are off and the midnight sky is the same sharp blue as the Arctic wash of an iceberg. The moonglow illuminates everything with a cold whiteness and cuts random shapes out of the night. Improbably, shadows of houses and trees that would be ordinary in day have a lonely liveliness in the lunar afterburn.
My kitchen window faces the south. The constellation Orion hangs low enough to be framed by the window's upper arch. Orion is the one constellation I can name on sight, most probably because of the glowing belt. He's also the most romantic of Constellations.
In the fragments of myth surrounding Orion, he is blinded for loving Merope, a priestess and one of the Pleiades. In return for his physical blindness, he is given an inner sight and must continually follow the seven Pleiades across the night sky so that he may regain his physical sight at dawn. I love Orion because he dared to love the smart girl, knowing the cost. I love Orion because he is forever drawn to Merope, hunting her until the end of night.