Some tiny creature, mad with wrath,

Is coming nearer on the path.

--Edward Gorey

Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S. Outlying Islands

Writer, lawyer, cyclist, rock climber, wanderer of dark residential streets, friend.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Two Questions

There are two questions, but there is only one answer. Who is Moon, and what, is MoonOverPittsburgh? To answer the former is to hint at the latter, and inasmuch as this synopsis predates MoonOverPittsburgh's genesis, a hint at the latter is all you get.

Moon is a man who transplanted himself to Pittsburgh from the New York suburbs (read, New Jersey) lo some six-plus years ago because it seemed like a good idea at the time. Moon is no longer entirely sure why it seemed like such a good idea, but when ends are inexorable the means pale in relevance. Moon is 31 as of this writing, but only barely. Moon is lithe and reasonably fit, and at once educated and scatterbrained, and he is possessed of his vices. Moon is an attorney, but you won't hear much about that here, where he would subordinate the lawyer he plays on television to the artist afire who is God of his dreamscapes. Moon likes cycling and cigarettes and cats and Pittsburgh's radiant sunrises (when he is unfortunate enough to see one), as he loves his family, his friends, and most aspects of his protean, often prosaic, life.

And Moon loves Pittsburgh devoutly -- by sunlight, by winter gloom, by bracing Grant Street winds, and perhaps most of all by Moonlight.

Love his life and its innumerable circumstances and contingencies though he does, Moon has suffered for want of an outlet, an audience. An audience held captive by his words inchoate rhythm, the cadence of his cogitations laid bare, his plunge into utter exposure, a captive audience of his own devising, transfixed, if at all, by no magic greater than that he can conjure with the stroke of a pen, the tap of a few keys.

For above all, Moon loves words with an inarticulable ardor, in an ineluctible infatuation that turns in on itself and would -- indeed, might -- devour everything in its path were it not necessary, in so doing, to imperil the very words that constitute its raison d'etre, its modus vivendi, and other qualities so transcendant as to require the use of pompous foreign phrases borrowed by English and (a fortiori) never returned, with punitive late fees compounding.

Moon long has called himself a writer. Indeed, his daily bread might not have been broken but for moneys earned with his words -- first in management consulting, then in marketing, and now in the ephemera of the law (not that Moon, in his lawyer hat, would ever concede the ephemeral nature, in geologic time if in no other, of the law).

But for all of that, all of his many words, Moon has merely circumscribed rather than penetrated, eluded rather than engaged, his nascent passion for pure invention, for a lyric life, he once knew beyond cavil would govern his every breath until the grave. He suffered for want of dedication, for want of education, for want of funds, but most of all he never decyphered which switches corresponded to the lights that required extinguishing before he couold follow, however falteringly, the path he once called Destiny. Distraction, and the irresistible passage of time, dismantled in pieces his loftiest aspirations and sold them for scrap, a pound of flesh.

Moon realizes now the fundamental flaw in his founding scheme, as he has before, though he has struggled to retain it, internalize it, accept it as guiding truth: he cannot write beyond the sentence that looms, the instant thought; he cannot craft language worthy of even his own attention unless he sublimates all of his grander aspirations into the discovery of the next word.

To write is to write is to be.

And so here he is, here I am, Moon, if not your friend than merely one more narrator in a world of them, seeking to share himself for no loftier reason than the intrinsic satisfaction of doing so. Writing to write, to have written.

The details remain obscure, the path uncertain. All this is, MoonOverPittsburgh, is a cultivated admixture, or a guided confluence, if you like, of Moon's dual loves: for words, and for the first, and to date only, city he has called Home not by accident of birth or in virtue of circumstances outside his control, but because he chose to do so -- for, in a word, Pittsburgh.

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