How could something so affecting last only thirty seconds?

I had a heart-breaking moment at Bumbershoot on Saturday night, an inspiring caught breath experience, the circumstances improbable. Tony and I were crammed impossibly tight into the tiny, toy rollercoaster by the foot of the Space Needle, grinning, teeth bared in freshly minted joy, blazing against the darkness in the glare of the amusement ride lights, when there, at the very top of the first hill, poised like a hammer between one vital minute and the next, was the perfect moon, uncannily full, reflected like liquid heat in the metal of the EMP, trapped innocently so precisely, so exquisitely in my line of sight we seemed even with it, as if lifted into the sky, as if we, in turn, were about to learn to fly. My heart stopped beating then as I became a porcelain doll, created only for this moment, to stare forever into the face of this exact place and time. In that stillness, every detail was preserved, the shaking click of the tracks, the hollow echo inside my eyes. Then I broke it with an even, awed tone, the voice of a calm, holy child, look at the moon, exactly in time. As the last syllable left my mouth, a whole thing, finished, palpable, the fiercely rattling car suddenly swept violently down to the right, wrenching us screaming down, roughly down, and away from that trapped moment as gentle as a butterfly landing in the palm of an upturned hand.

Edit addendum: A local Grade 11 English honours class has been given an assignment to write a “snapshot” or a short moment in time piece where they describe one moment that had an impact on them, and this piece of writing has been chosen to be presented to them as an excellent example of what the teacher wants them to do and how so much emotion can be expressed in a very short space. I’m thrilled. I don’t believe my writing has been presented to teenagers before, only adults and very small children.

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