Campus Life wenbo’s walks

The dichotomy of suns

The sun baked into a pie

9508 halloweencl
A pumpkin looks quite different from an apple, you see.
Wenbo Wu–The Tech

I fall to the core, accelerating as I go. Its molten iron comes into view as I cling to the little freedom that remains. Physics lied to me: falling through the earth leads me to no oscillation at all! I see no underworld; I see only fire.

I hold the sun tenderly in my palms. It surrounds me with embers, my eyes aching, burning with excitement. “Passion engulfs you in flames,” the flowers had cautioned when I walked along the footpath of the Charles.

I look into the apple of its eye, and I question its intent. The sun stares back at me, innocently enough, as though concealing an infestation of worms. I gasp, struggling to breathe. There’s an invisible hand there, reaching around my throat, about to suffocate me. A scream swells from the chambers of my chest. It seethes, bubbles, and boils, but it never arrives.

My eyes water as I muster little resistance. Despite the star’s general havoc, it miraculously does no harm to the cupped hands that support it.

I clear my throat. I clear my throat again. A raspy voice I don’t recognize escapes me as I drop the star. It falls off the table as I fumble desperately for water. Despite my hands having let go of it, its hands do not let go of me.

I’m wide awake again, afraid of sleepwalking. I rise and observe the moon, wondering if the man on the moon could ease my condition. I let the moonlight shower me, tracing highlights over the goosebumps of my skin.

I pace the kitchen like I paced the blocks of my neighborhood. The lights are off. I circle the room frantically, fingers fluttering through my hair, raising chaos. The sun is destructive; I surely knew of it, but I never believed such myths. I was so foolish, playing with fire.

I inhale deeply to cleanse my system, but the breath cuts short.

I gasp. I’m over the sink, splashing the coldest water imaginable onto my face. I scratch my arms, I scratch my face. With great power comes great destruction, and how carelessly I let that power go!

I look into the mirror and scream at my bloodshot eyes. I can see their vessels in gory detail, as though they’d sprouted from a single malevolent seed.

The pastry falls from my hands. I should’ve known it was tainted with apples. I should’ve known that wasn’t pumpkin. I, er, definitely know what pumpkin pie looks like in the wild, and how to distinguish it from an apple pie, okay?

I return to my room, my face dancing in water, drenched with fear. I close the door behind me. At least sleepwalkers don’t know how to open doors… at least as far as I know. I head to bed.

Apples are the bane of my existence. People say one bad apple ruins the bunch, but I’d argue that a single apple, good or bad, ruins everything. I am, of course, speaking from the perspective of someone allergic to them. You know what, scratch that: all apples are bad.

“An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Yeah, right. I might as well play with the fire of the sun at this point. Icarus certainly cared none for it and paid dearly for his recklessness. Prometheus too, though the latter is perhaps more noble for it.

But alas, though the sun may be a force of destruction, it of course has a softer side as the bringer of life.

As I fall back into slumber, Apollo comes with a smile. This kinder image forms the sun, perhaps to stay awhile. Though not unproblematic in mythology, this sun’s much sweeter by analogy.

He embraces me, and tells me I’m safe, in a place hidden from the apples of space. Of all the apples to all the people, none lie far from the root evil.

I bask in the sunlight of the wintry outdoors. The snow falls tenderly, from branches to floors. I look at the sky, alight from his love. I look at him, through the clouds of course.

I walk deliberately, and I walk with haste. I walk by fire, though now with grace. From the cap on my head to the jewels of his crown, he warms me up and erases my frown.

Though I was a boy of the moon, now I hum of suns in marvelous tunes. So I honor him, with cloth wrapped around, on All Hallows’ Eve, in a bed sheet gown.

And so ’twas Halloween, written live as it passed. Didst thou don a costume this weekend past?