I am not a singular star, I am a constellation. That’s what Michael always tells me. I lie within the Northern sky, and my neighbours are Draco, Hercules, Vulpecula, and Cygnus, my favourite. I am a musical instrument, a Greek poet and musician, and Cygnus is the swan.
It’s rather beautiful, really. Being named after a collection of stars. Alone they are magical, but together they are something quite extraordinary. Little balls of fusion, burning through generations, home to so many wishes. There are over ten to the power eleven galaxies out there (that’s a lot) with the same amount of stars within each one. Meaning, altogether, there are approximately ten to the power twenty-two stars that exist throughout the universe. And that just blows me away.
That’s probably why I have always had a fascination with stars. My name to begin with, and then the idea of the universe just carried me off with it. I feel connected to them, like they’re watching me as often as I watch them.
Michael shares the passion with me, although he often teases me for wanting to impress the stars sometimes. He knows that I want to make them proud.
“It’s cute!” he defends himself when I go to pinch his knee, “there’s nothing wrong with wanting to show-off to the stars.”
I know he means it but I always get embarrassed. I can’t help it! All the stars and galaxies and planets combined only make up about four percent of the universe and so I want to show them that I am worthy of belonging too, privileged enough to be a part of the the small percentage.
“It’s not like I sit and chat with them!” I lie and we both know it.
“Hey,” Michael kisses my red cheeks and I relax a little, “it’s one of my favourite things about you.”
Pleased with that, I continue to ramble on about Cygnus and the myth of Zeus and Leda, a seduction which takes place while Zeus is, in fact, in the form of a swan. And it’s things like that that make me realise how much I love how stars have their own little stories. And that I love how the universe itself is one long novel, chapter flowing to chapter, page turning to page. And I guess that’s what it all comes down to really. I want people to hear not just my name, not just my associated constellation, but my story too. Thrill, exhilaration, magic, those are the things that I want to share with the stars.
Now I’m telling Michael about the Draco constellation, meaning the dragon in Latin. He’s comparing it to Harry Potter’s Draco Malfoy and how that hair on a dragon would look really really odd and suddenly I realise I’ve already got a pretty impressive star standing right in front of me. He’s just as golden, shines just as bright and whenever I am with him, something burns just as hot through me.
He’s laughing to himself and I stopped listening a little while ago, too busy staring into his eyes. Around us it’s only the afternoon, a time when the stars are tucked neatly behind the clouds, shadowed by the fierce light we are given by our very own adored star. He pauses for a moment to watch me and I take the opportunity to kiss him, soft and slow, the same way his eyes scan the sky at night.
Maybe I do try to impress them. Maybe I do want them to be in awe of me, too. I get why people are named after stars and stars are named after people. There’s something interesting about their presence, and something spectacular about what they add to our world. But more so than that, they inspire us. They remind us to strive for excellence, to leave moments and memories that will glow for infinity.
And it all makes sense really.
Because we are exactly like them.
Billions of individuals, shining and beautiful.
We are all made from stardust.