Comet McNaught seems to be living up to its name–at least as far as I’m concerned. I don’t know how ordinary or how spectacular this comet is since I haven’t managed to see it. Every morning I get up it’s cloudy; those mornings when I don’t I’m told the sky was clear. Last night I drove a hundred and fifty miles to find a beautiful cabin in some high hills in western Texas just so I could finally get to see this comet. I chose a wonderful location on the eastern side of a high ridge overlooking the Frio River and spent the evening fretting as cloud band after cloud band suddenly appeared in response to Hurricane Alex’s call to arms, a personal vendetta aimed at preventing me from seeing Comet McNaught.
My phone couldn’t find any signal, so I soon ran out of battery while I was setting my alarm to get up at 4 o’clock in the morning. Fortuately my wifes phone is on AT&T so her batterywasn’t drained dry looking for nonexistent signals. We ate a modest, cold supper of cheese, wilted spinach salad, and pickled shrimp prepared by my sister-in-law. Because we were roughing it, I only watched one game from Wimbleton, marveling at the Williams sisters playing a successful doubles match against two very talented Russian women.
At four o’clock, after wondering what those jungle drums were doing in west texas (my wife’s alarm tone), I slipped bare feet into Crocks and wondered out on the front porch where some shadowy creature was rearing up to claw at the low hanging bird feeder. After a brief confrontation, I got to the edge of the porch and looked up into thick boiling clouds that proceeded to pour a few more megatons of water onto the hills. Then mist rolled in. There was a lonely cry of a whippoorwill suffering from insomnia.
Once again, my vigil had come to Naught.