The Day of the Dark Earth
By Jeff Baker
I had my first kiss when I was sixteen years old under the Greek columns in the middle of summer. I remember the place; there aren’t a lot of Greek columns on the Moon. I’m not a hundred percent sure of the year; we hadn’t started using the standard time yet.
It was the Day of the Dark Earth where you could make out the bulk of the Earth with its dark side facing us if you looked closely in the bluish sky past the limit of the atmosphere. I learned in school how the first travelers to the Moon, some eighty years earlier had found atmosphere stretching not as far off the ground as Earth’s, and that the atmosphere was not natural, but caused by the machines left by the builders of the ancient cities. The Greek columns were something the Earth people had put up not long after arriving in a flinging effort to imitate an ancient Earth civilization and make the Moon theirs.
I’d met him in that class, young, dark-haired, brown eyed. I’d known how I felt about both girls and guys for a while, and I definitely felt about him. We were all excused from classes for the celebrations on the Day of the Dark Earth, probably because it was summer and the previous Days in summer had been fogged-over. We were both standing by the columns trying to find where the Earth was, we hadn’t been paying that much attention in class, when he grabbed me and kissed me on the lips. Just for a second.
Then he walked away.
I’d had a girlfriend but had never kissed.
When they started dating back time to correspond with the Earth calendar and ignoring the Lunar standard it made me sixteen in 1845, but as far as I was concerned time started for me the moment we kissed.