I have never been friends with the sun. We’ve made our peace over the years with the help of things like sunscreen, hats, day drinking, and shade, but we both know it’s a tenuous truce at best. Sometimes, no matter how hard you try – tropical vacations, air-conditioning, designer sunglasses – the sun is still an oversized heater that makes sweating a competition. I don’t know how people in the South do it, or Africa, or cats. My sun bunny friends are usually from places like Florida, California, Texas, Mars. They have a tote bag with sun-friendly items ready to go by their front door – sunscreen, sunglasses, water bottle, chick lit, snacks – instead of the haphazardly thrown-together grocery sack I take to the beach with a bunch of middle fingers inside.
Because of this, the eclipse just didn’t hit my radar last week. Of course it was all over my social media feeds, but I willfully ignored it. I know it’s happening and that people spent hours in their cars waiting in traffic to get to some field so they can indirectly look at the same thing for ten minutes together, but that journey to Middle Earth just did not appeal to me. You could’ve said the sun was going to sing Jose Carreras’ buttery part in the Misa Criolla with Beyoncé while tossing down hundred dollar bills and fresh-baked bread (all of my favorite things), and I still would’ve been like “But I have this Game of Thrones recap to write.” Sorry.
Say hi to the sun for me. Tell him I bought two sweaters this week and can’t wait to see less of him this fall.
I do like the idea of the moon – a longtime cohort of mine and partner in darkness – blocking out the obnoxious radiance of our solar system’s biggest star, but not enough to do anything besides type ‘best solar eclipse photos of 2017’ into Google.
Most of what I’ve seen online are frenzied travelers and eclipse enthusiasts and What Not To Do infographics – How To Avoid Going Blind Forever By An Asshole Called ‘The Sun’ – and that put me off, too. If there’s an awesome thing going on that everyone is into, but it comes with dubious instructions like “Look at the sun but don’t look at the sun” and “the safest way to see the eclipse is through these non-prescription paper glasses your first grader made in school,” I’m going to take a hard pass. I’m glad it’s special for other people, but watching the sun turn into a blistering NuvaRing while it travels The Path of Totality (a path I think Tolkien would have appreciated) is not in the cards. Speaking of: a lot of my tarot card-loving friends and astrology peeps have been Dark Side of The Moon-ing over this solar eclipse, and bemoaning whatever planetary retrograde side effects it will have on our useless human forms. I look forward to that, as well as Bonnie Tyler singing Total Eclipse of The Heart during the eclipse. I always love a commitment to theme.
To check out photos of the eclipse throughout the day, the New York Times will hook you up.