09.3 Circus in Corpus Christi
It was hot on the beach. She climbed ashore and drove south down Park Road. Shortly, she caught sight of a series of overhung white banners in a line on tall posts fluttering in the wind. As she reached closer, she read an arch signage with the letters ‘Sacar a la Luz’. A huge blue flag with a white seagull encircled with eight stars – the flag of Corpus Christi – standing in the middle on Balli Park arena.
“What’s going on here?” she asked the girl on the backseat. Angela said nothing holding tight on her like a backwarmer, both wearing helmets.
“Sacar a la Luz,” Natalia muttered, “bring to light in Spanish.” She stopped the motorbike and took off the helmet, “See that logo on the banners! I’ve seen it before. It is a halo.”
The vibe flag with a white background got a gold symbol that portrayed a cup enclosed by a ring of sparks like she saw on the rug from Dan Nielsen – Selenelion. At the bottom, Greek-type blue letters read – Komos.
“Alright, this is it. The rave,” Natalia told Angela, “That goblet in the middle is called a chalice, or kylix in Greek. Silenus, the drunken god of wines, carries the cup and it is enclosed by the sparks called a monstrance. Life or the light of dawn.”
“Hey Mono!” cried Angela, “Where did you come to learn that stuff?”
“It’s the Komos. A drinking ritual by the revellers and we have to join the party. Today is the sixteenth.”
“It’s going to start at five,” said Angela.
“You’re right. We go back to get ready.”
Angela wore a sleeveless black mini dress and a white crochet scarf with jewellery; long silver chains and tribal pendants, bangles and rings. She carried a hobo bag and climbed the backseat of the DR250 wearing thin.
Natalia wore a drop-armhole brown felt top with a low neck, black strapless bra, long silver chains with a disc, wood and bead bracelets, a black see-through midi skirt and a twisted dark brown belt. She carried a leather tote bag with fringes. Honeycomb dyed hair layered over her left shoulder. None wore helmets.
Five in the afternoon, Natalia and Angela arrived at the rave. Music was loud, revellers danced and winds picked up. It wasn’t a so-called “rave” but a pretty decent atmosphere with families and kids enjoying the evening festival.
Singer on the stage with ginger blonde dyed hair, in pearl-studded white bustier, jacket and pants, sang ‘Yo Fui Aquella’ and Tejano music filled the air.
They approached a gay crowd. A sleek lofty lady in denim shorts lost a smile and stared down at Natalia whose undertones were revealed in sheer black skirt; her hazel eyes deep-set.
The gay crowd pulled Natalia to dance. The band played ‘Salta La Ranita’.
She started to tap and kick and swing the jive. They all did a fly but she did a sail.
Linda stood few yards away with her goon crowd of kinky girls and boys. She wore a crotchet embroidered white top, a pair of denim pants and urban bracelets. She looked sexy, sassy and unique.
At some point their eyes met; Natalia and Linda. That stare from deep-set eyes caught Natalia by the gut. Linda noticed her first as if she was on the lookout.
Natalia grabbed Angela’s arm and began to walk hurriedly towards the beach swinging a hog caught in the verve. Natalia looked for the moon in a partial overcast, “Look! It is a Full Moon on the rise!”
“And there’s the sun!” Angela cried. 180 degrees opposite on the western horizon, over the flat desert land of Padre Island, this refraction of the sun appeared for a few minutes in a vanishing reddish-greyish glow.
“Holy crap!” uttered Natalia, “It’s a selenelion!”
“A selenelion,” she felt those hairless spores on her skin elevated, “it is a very rare phenomenon. You can see the moon and the sun at the same time.”
“Oh! Come on! Mono!” cried Angela, “You always see the moon and the sun in the sky at the same time.”
Natalia thought about it. Angela was right. “Oh! It’s very embarrassing!” she tried to settle herself but the thrill wouldn’t go away instantly. “It is gone now. The sun has set.”
“If you live on the mountains, you see it happen all the time.”
They didn’t know that the moon actually entered a penumbral eclipse though not exactly a selenelion.
A so-called selenelion or a selenehelion is only an observation to see the Sun and the Moon at the same time during a total lunar eclipse when actually the Sun and the Moon would fall in a straight line and impossible to see from the Earth if not for the atmospheric refraction and given it the position of the observer.
A new band climbed the stage and began to play ‘Money for Nothing’. Someone tapped on her shoulder as the song came to end.
“Hello there!” spoke the newcomer, “I am Carol. Linzy wants you to join her,” and she passed a hundred-dollar bill with a Komos complimentary card; the golden logo of the cup in a halo and those words ‘Sacar a la Luz’.
“Who is Linzy?” asked Natalia.
“Linda…Linda Linz,” said the woman wearing a luminous green blouse with shoulder pads over a black leotard.
She remembered those deep-set eyes of the thin lady wearing denims. Glanced at the note and took it. On the other side it was scribbled, ‘906 Maurus Circle’.
Natalia negotiated, “Come, Angie! Let’s see what she wants!”
“What is your name?” asked Carol.
“Mono,” replied Natalia, “And this is Angie.”
At Linda’s camp, Carol fleetingly introduced the two girls to Linda Linz who glared with cold eyes. Linda stood by a serving table, “Hola!” she nodded, “Take this! Pass it down! Pass it down!”
Meanwhile, a crowd here dipped their heads into an ice bucket one by one in some kind of a challenge.
Carol passed them a smoke. Natalia gladly had a few pulls and passed to Angela. Carol said, “Linzy wants to rave with you.”
“Rave?” asked Natalia uncertainly.
At that moment, Linda approached carrying two glasses of wine. “This is for you. And this for you.” Linda passed the white wine glass to Natalia and the red kind to Angela.
“I’m Linzy,” she shook hands with Natalia. Linda stood five inches taller than Natalia and so was Carol.
“I am Mono. And Angie here.”
“Enjoy the evening. I will see you in a moment.”
“Okay,” Natalia nodded keenly.
Carol said, “Linzy invites you to her place.”
“Where is her place?”
“Not too far.”
“Tonight?” Natalia gave some thought.
“Tomorrow night at eight,” said Carol.
“What does she want?”
“It’s just fun.”
“I will think about it.”
“It is going to do good for you.”
Natalia agreed because she had to meet this lady somehow, “Okay, I come.”
“Don’t go away! She’ll come back to you.” Carol left the girls.
Natalia looked up into the sky and glanced at the moon, “It’s red! Look! What has happened to the moon?” Earth’s atmosphere filters blue light, the moon appears red during a lunar eclipse.
“An eclipse!” joined Angela turning her chin up. Music and dance continued and nobody seemed to bother into the night sky except these two.
Abruptly, someone grasped her stiffy but gently. “Ouch!” Natalia pulled her face and looked around to find Linda Linz standing there, “It shocked me!” Not only the touch but the sight.
“Did you feel it?” asked Linda, “What’s up!”
“Blood Moon,” Linda said, “a total lunar eclipse at the hour. Watch it relieve in forty-five minutes roughly at eleven.” She groped her again.
“I did not notice it. When did it start?”
“Supposed to be at 10:08 pm.”
“Is it a selenelion?” asked Angela.
“Selenelion!” chuckled Linda, “no, I don’t think it is for us. Maybe to someone in South America. The moon is passing over the Topic of Capricorn.”
“Literally, it was a selenelion we saw,” muttered Natalia, “Given it, the Earth’s shadow is larger than the Moon, not exactly in the umbra but penumbral. Possible!”
“Oh crap!” grunted Angela.
Twelve minutes to two; band played ‘Let it Shine’ while a bright Full Moon passed the meridian right above. Clouds cleared. A strong smell of hemp caught in the air. Revellers danced to body and soul; free spirited and full of life.