Eta Carinae

(Influenced by and Dedicated to Gabriel Garcia Marquez; written in a wakeful sleep)

Eta Carinae was born in the year 6369 when the ice was new and the world was still in danger of being hit my passing meteors so giant that the Orion people had to live in caves and eat off the walls the limestone and granite of centuries past as their ancestors had, built and nourished off the elements. The moon had a faint distant glow and whenever Eta Carinae would look up at the sky she would recollect the stories of her childhood as narrated to her by her grandpa six generations removed, as if she had just gotten up from his embrace, his words still warm in her left ear as Eta Carinae was deaf in the right. It was her right palm into which Grandpa Aurigae would whisper the fables of times when there lived on earth nothing but gigantic, wise trees and they would climb mountains to set counsel and settle matters, and reside in caves made of lunar dust and eat rocks that fell on earth time to time, and of stellar light that would once every thousand years visit the Orion people in form of an animal so bright and large that Grandpa Aurigae and his comrades had to travel miles and miles to enter its mouth, pay their homage, make prayers and upon returning it would take them a hundred years more to find their families and if somebody died on the journey they had to extract his soul from the body and bury his soul under a tree that aligned with the witch head nebula. Eta Carinae had always wondered about the tree that had the power to dispel good and evil to the most distant realms of the universe and when she came of age to water the caves and feed the crops she would often sit under the night sky, and with her index finger scratch the moist soil under her and draw directions to the possibilities of the location of the tree which she would remember by reference to the star she sat under that night, the plant or weed that grew to her either side, the direction of the wind and the color of the soil and as she was called back every night she would lick off her fingers and remember the taste of the earth. The Orion people had a dislike for eating what they walked on and Eta Carinae’s secret was so deep that she wouldn’t even whisper it to the herbs that grew at the opening of the cave until a meteor struck the cave into smithereens and the Orion people after cursing the meteor began crushing its soul and started building rugged houses out of its body and often Eta Carinae could hear the beaten wails of the meteor that were soundless noises to the Orion people like a dying animal. Once the meteor rose to life but the Orion people quickly beat it to its slow death and when the wise Zeta Oph got up in the morning without a roof over his head, panic suddenly spread through the Orion people as one by one they woke up with their heads under the sun, their scalp melting into their faces and their hair on fire screaming for help, blind in eyes and soundless in ears and their tongues could only regurgitate high-pitched wails which the wise Zeta Oph quickly silenced with a flick of his hand and commanded the Orion people to seek refuge in another mountain cave but the Orion people had gotten used to the comfort of the houses on earth and the nearest mountain cave could take a hundred years to travel to after which they immediately resorted to making smaller, humbler houses with pebbles and stones and rocks to which the wise Zeta Oph objected and asked the Orion people to not touch the rocks and leave them as they were in case they incurred the wrath of the rocks. The Orion people at first questioned the wise Zeta Oph and upon meeting his persistent silence decided to dismiss the inclusion of rocks in their plan but Eta  Carinae, who had been silent all along as they talked and discussed the matter on her right side, heard quiet whispers in her left ear which made her taste her tongue and she made up her mind to go to the wise Zeta Oph and inquire about the old, solemn tree she had been trying to locate.


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