They say it wasn’t real. That it was all just a film set with bad lighting. All a pretence to leave the Russians feeling beaten, well and truly. The pictures are all grainy and grit and the camera shakes and Neil stepping like dancing and the crackle of his ‘one small step, one giant leap,’ and I don’t know what to believe.
I remember the day and my dad pulled us all in front of the television and he said we was watching history in the making. His voice was all hush and there was tears in his eyes and he gave us each a silver dollar afterwards just for the giving, a moon-silver dollar that filled the palm of my child’s hand.
Then some small years later, a boy called Billy put his fingers inside me after church and he moved them about like he was tickling for fish, and my dad was doing the same with Mrs Harkiss next door and our mam said he was no more to be trusted. I thought of all the things he’d ever said then, and I tested each one for truth, everything right back to the moon landing and that too-skippy walk of Neil and his staccato hiss-static poetry.
He’s dead now, my dad, years in the ground, so many I don’t miss him no more. But my mam cries one day a year when she remembers the bride that she was and the groom that he was and the stars he hung in her hair once on a bridge in Vermont.
And Neil’s dead, too, I heard, and no one’s been to the moon in years and that seems sad or wrong. There’s pictures in the paper, ones I have seen before, and I look now for the strings and the smoke and the mirrors, and though I want to believe it was true I am not sure I can.
→Thanks again, Lindsay, for such fine writing. I want to encourage readers of this site to submit their responses to the Daily Journal Prompts via the comments section, and occasionally I will use these pieces as individual posts. As always, thanks for reading! -PMc←