The full moon in January is known as the Wolf or Hunger moon. What are you hungry enough to howl for?
I decided to go back over the journal entry and try to turn into a very short story or vignette about hunger. The night before, I' witnessed interactions among truly hungry people, so I put this together. Since I did research on the hunger moon (not anything more than googling it, though), I found this anonymous quote:
"Wolves have howled at the moon for centuries, yet it is still there."
And hunger is, too, along with longing and stories.
If you'd like, let me know what you think of my vignette. And if you like it, share it:
By Joy Corcoran
I waited in the car in the parking lot of the grocery store. It was about 10 p.m. on a cold January night. My husband and I were on our way home after a workshop on creating stories. We needed a few things. He dashed in and while I waited, I read The Snow Queen from a book of fairy tales.
A woman came out of the store and opened the door of a red SUV across the walkway from me. She was about my age, in her fifties with pale skin and puffy eyes. She clutched a liter bottle of soda and a carton of cigarettes.
A young man walked out of the shadows and asked her for money.
“I don’t have any money!” she yelled. “I’m living in my car. My tire’s losing air and my ex won’t help me.”
She had long straight hair. Around her head it was gray. Down her back it was auburn. A distinct line marked when she’d last had it colored. The young man had on several layers of coats, all of them sagging around his small frame. He stepped closer to her.
I grabbed my cell phone out of my purse and dialed 9-1 and waited to see if I need to dial the next 1.
His voice was soft and comforting but I couldn’t hear what he said. I didn’t roll down the window. I was afraid to call attention to myself. He kicked the tire which didn’t seem flat. “I’ll have to park by the air pump when the gas station closes,” she said. “When I wake up it’ll be flat.”
He murmured. She quieted. Perhaps he would be able to fix her tire. She put the soda on the driver’s seat, opened the carton of cigarettes and handed him a pack. They spoke for a moment, then she yelled, “I haven’t got money! I have nothing. Nothing!”
He backed away and loped off toward the recycling area.
She got in her car, revved the engine, and screeched out of the parking lot.
I sat there with my phone and fairytale. My husband came back with our groceries. “Get out of the car for a minute,” he said. “The moon is out.”
A full moon, hidden earlier by clouds, lit up the velvet sky. “Did you know the full moon in January is known as the wolf moon?” We had not been married long. He was always surprising me with shiny bits of knowledge. “It’s a Native American name, from wolves howling in mid-winter. It’s also the hunger moon.”
We drove out of the parking lot. I saw the young man again, clustered with others around the icy lights at the recycling center. I thought for a minute I should open my door and point out the moon, but it didn’t seem safe. It didn’t’ seem fair – the beauty of the moon wouldn’t be enough. The clouds would return soon, then the rain.
We went home to our apartment, the heat was already set. I finished reading my fairytale. We lay under a flower covered blanket and it was summertime, in our dreams, glorious summertime.