M83

The alien did not come in peace, but he did not come in war.

Not alien, really. More hybrid beast, bearing the physique of the creature in Where the Wild Things Are, extending an elephant trunk with a pig snout, and gazing out of eyes like roses made of Jell-O, fanned by the plumage of moth wing eyelashes.

He came to us, an audience of fans, children of all ages, who were not civil, but not violent; doting, yet demanding. The introductory music climbed into rapture as he reached the edge of the stage. He raised his arms and we raised ours, like poles, carrying power lines, alternating currents. Thus, considering his ambassadorship duties finished, he exited, and the band entered.

The band M83, named after Messier 83, a barred spiral galaxy, named for the spiral structures that extend from the center into the disk. The spiral arms are sites of ongoing star formation and are brighter than the surrounding disk because of the young, hot OB stars that inhabit them.

Not everyone can be a young, hot star. Not even in America. But that night, we, the stars, stellar remnants, gas, dust, dark matter… formed a system, bound and clustered. Next to me, a teenager, high on marijuana and hormones, flailed his limbs like a child’s push puppet toy, sweat glimmering all over his skin like dew. I watched him and listened to the music and wondered how long it could last.

6 thoughts on “M83

  1. I’m not familiar with M83, but I will give them a listen soon. You introduced me to the Civil Wars, and that was one of my favorite musical discoveries of the past year, so I’m eager to hear M83.

    Your reference to Where the Wild Things Are is quite relevant, not just because the creature does in fact bear a striking resemblance to something out of Maurice Sendak’s illustrations, but also because Sendak died a day before you published the post. Did you know that?

    Maurice Sendak is quite the inspiration to me. I have a book that gives an overview of his work on my bookshelf.

    It’s an interconnected universe we inhabit.

  2. Your experience reminds me of mine at LCD Soundsystem. A night to remember, and taking it all in because you know that exact moment will never happen again.

  3. Never, ever let me go a full month without reading something you have posted. Always text me immediately, since it refuses to let me subscribe. I’m glad that the result of a conversation, where I hid in my car away from those I was supposed to be hanging with and listened to your valid should-I-shouldn’t-I internal battle, resulted in this experience.

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