Sidereal

As I lack imagination when it comes to picking random words I let wordsmith.org do it for me.

My poetry professor of yore, whom endearingly allowed me to come to class tired, hungover, and foggy and thinking of Mary Jane, sunglasses shading bloodshot eyes,  suggested as a writing exercise to choose a word or four words randomly and write a poem or short story using them. As I don’t have a giant bin of words (I really should just print off the dictionary and stick each word in a giant jar and pick four a day… but that would take a lot of ink and paper) I am using my word-a-day e-mails as inspiration.

Word of the Day: Sidereal  (sy-DEE- ree-uhl) –adjective:
1. Relating to the stars.
2. Measured with reference to the apparent motion of the stars. For example, sidereal time.

From the Latin Sidus (Star)

A rambling class in school. It’s generally crap today.

The oscillating of the flag made a wet flap against the pole, as the girl stared out of the window. She didn’t know nor care what the science teacher was carping on about. The heads of chrysanthemums bowed against the rain and the wind, droplets of water flung themselves against the window. The drops warped and enlightened the world through it. the grass and sky were reversed in tiny mirrors, beating themselves upon the glass, breaking and congealing.

How she wished she knew what it was like to be a drop of rain, a blade of grass. Humanity seemed too complex, too far from nature. Even the sidereal oceans with their gleaming hordes were a part of these beads of moisture. And what was she? She was in a box outside of the rain, warm and artificial. Her hair was perfectly curled, her eyeliner perfectly applied, her skirt was laying on her bare legs, and still she felt as if the artifice of it all sickened her. Yet how could she escape? The red hand of the clock mechanically flowed in a circle, the buzzing of the fluorescent light, the painted cinderblocks. She could see the bright green of gum underneath her friend Lissy’s desk in front of her. Lissy was writing something that wasn’t notes, as there were paragraphs not bullet points.

The girl took her pencil out and began to sketch a woman in a white dress. She seemed obsessed with all things that were impossible and inane. She daydreamed incessantly. If only she could be a fairy and escape this place, turn leaves into bills of money, glamour herself to be beautiful, make any man love her.

She saw her crush Billy out of the corner of her eye, she inwardly sighed. He was reading Atlas Shrugged underneath the desk. Oh Billy, your love of literature endears you even more to me, she thought. Not to mention his fey smile, green eyes, and that time they danced together, he was such an excellent dancer. Now he hardly spoke to her, because his girlfriend Cecelia didn’t like it. Cecelia was beautiful so there was no point in trying. He was perfect, she wasn’t.

She wished that she was brave, a warrior of women, a knight of justice.  She wished that she could right the wrongs of the world, in black armor and a sword that was imbued with magic. But that sort of thing only happened in her stories, in her dreams.

“Quasars” her science teacher said aloud. “A quasar is the bright center of a galaxy, believed to be powered by a supermassive black hole.” what? thought the girl. a bright center of a galaxy powered by a black hole? How is that possible? was it antimatter? she had read about that in the DaVinci code, antimatter, or was it Angels and Demons? She couldn’t remember. Her science teacher’s southern accent rang out into her. The girl raised her hand. The science teacher looked at her in surprise, as the girl seldom asked questions, got A’s on all her tests, and didn’t generally bother paying attention.

“Yes, Rose” She said pointing at her in the way that teachers do that so annoyed her, condescendingly, as if they had all the power.

“I am confused. I thought that black holes were collections of Anti matter. How could it produce light, as light is caused by energy and wavelengths, and anti matter has neither mass, energy nor wavelengths.” to be honest she didn’t know what she was talking about, she made assumptions based on what little she knew. Most of the time she was right. At least Billy was looking at her with that half-smile of admiration that made Rose blush.

“To be honest Rose, this is a theory. I don’t know very much about it. but if you look at the packet…” Rose vaguely remembered receiving that… “That I handed out… it has a physics definition” She cleared her throat “Many scientists believe that a quasar is created by matter interacting with supermassive black holes. This would appear to explain the high energy output and the rapid variability observed in their luminosity. The quasar is formed when matter falling into the black hole is flung back out, creating superheated beams of energy… So there you have it then.”

“I didn’t think matter came out of black holes, unless you use the wormhole theory… That’s an interesting theory though.” Rose said ponderously, not really addressing the teacher.

“Yes, well… ” this engendered further discussion in the classroom, but Rose was too busy thinking about the stars. She wondered if energy was the true god, so infinite, neither created nor destroyed… but maybe god created energy… who knew. She despised high school. The only guys interested in her were fat, infested with terrible acne, or goth. At least her next period was English… another class with Billy. English class with the great Ganjehsani. She watched the clock, the scarlet seconds slipped away. The minutes groaned by. She waited, waited… The bell rang, even so, it took her a minute as she mistily put her books in her backpack and followed her fellow students. Lissy gave her a couple pages of the collaborative fantasy book, Billy glanced  behind him and stopped by the door before thinking better of it and following the rest. Cecelia was outside of the door and smiled possessively at him.


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