Sometime around the New Year, (the actual day escapes me as I had been sick for two entire weeks by that time) the newscaster informed me that there was going to be a fantastic meteor shower. A meteor shower that would be one of the brightest and best for a looooong time. Hundreds of meteors within that hour for our viewing delight.
I was excited.
Living here in the metropolis that is SoCal means that there is mucho light pollution. And mucho light pollution translates into cruddy stargazing. Where I live is about as good as it probably gets in an urban area, as we are up on a big hill. So on a good night, I can see Orion and Venus, usually Mars, and if I'm lucky, the Pleiades. But the dippers and the Milky Way are a sight just not seen in the "lowlands." And shooting stars? Practically never.
Unfortunately for me, the meteor shower was to take place between 2 and 3AM, times which normally find me snoozing and attempting to avoid being smacked (see post below). So I sighed a little sigh and went to bed around 11PM.
Couldn't sleep. Tossed, turned, felt like crap. Hubba-hubba, also sick, snoring. But I took pity on him since he was already asleep and simply left the room. An hour later, still up, I decided to go outside and see for myself these falling stars I have heard so much about. Even though it was freezing, I wrapped myself up in our warmest blankie and went into the patio, as that was the place where I had little to no chance of waking anyone else up.
To the West, the newscaster had said, look to the West.
I looked. I strained. Nothing.
I was cold. It had been easily fifteen minutes. Dammnit, the newscaster had said hundreds of meteors! Where were they?
I went back in. I was bitter. I had been sick for so long, as had the rest of my family, and I felt I deserved a bit of a treat, courtesy of the heavens.
I knew I should try to head back to bed, but I was by this point obsessed. I was going to see a meteor even if it meant I got pnuemonia in the bargain! I shuffled back outside, bundled like an old crone in my blanket and slippers.
Nothing to the West. Or the East, South, Southeast, North, Northwest or anywhere else.
I felt cheated. I shook my fist in the air. One freaking meteor, that's all I wanted! Could the universe just grant me that one thing?
I lay in bed, thawing out and beginning to fall asleep. And I thought, that is the story of my life, isn't it?