Worm Moon 2022
Last weekend, as if moving the clock forward an hour wasn’t painful enough, I turned 38 years old.
Every birthday after 30 has a certain surreal and nightmarish quality, but 38 was especially chilling.
The number itself feels so much bigger than 37.
I suppose it could be worse.
If we determined our age by seconds, I’m creeping up on 1.2 billion.
Recently, a Lunar Dispatch reader named Satya1 informed me that in Indian culture, older people measure their lives in the number of full moons they witnessed.
I did some calculations.
Tonight, when the Worm Moon slithers into the eastern sky, I will turn 472 full moons old.
Is that a lot?
It feels like a lot.
According to Satya, a full life is considered 1000 full moons long (approximately 80 years and 10 months on the Western calendar).
So even in the best-case scenario, my life is now a half-moon—darkened and illuminated in equal measure.
Before long, I will be entering my waning phase, and I don’t even have a retirement plan.
Perhaps that’s why, for my birthday, I bought myself an acre of land on the Moon.
I know what you’re thinking—there’s no way this deed is legit.
Well, it depends who you ask.
The 1967 Outer Space Treaty prohibits nations from laying claim to celestial bodies.
But what about private companies?
And more importantly, what about individuals?
The Lunar Embassy, the company from which I purchased my moon plot, was created by one Dennis Hope.
Back in 1980, a former ventriloquist and car salesman named Dennis Hope was out of work, going through a divorce and struggling to make ends meet. As he tells it, he was driving along wondering what he could do for cash flow when he looked through the car window, saw the moon and thought: “Now there’s a lot of property.”
Mr. Hope walked into his local US Governmental Office in San Francisco and submitted a claim for the entire lunar surface. According to his website, he was first considered a crackpot, but three supervisors, two floors, and five hours later, his claim was registered and he became in all likelihood “the largest landowner on the planet today.”
Whether Mr. Hope’s ownership (and now my partial ownership) of the Moon would stand up in court is unclear.
But looking at the current makeup of the Supreme Court, I’d say that anything is possible.
My deed did come with restrictions.
According to the Lunar Embassy bylaws, I’m allowed to build any structure on my plot provided it does not “disrupt the esthetics of the existing geography.”
It would be a real pity if my rustic moon cottage spoiled this upscale neighborhood:
I’m also forbidden from bringing weapons to my property, which is too bad because the Moon is known for its excellent hunting.
And I can’t use my acre as a storage unit, which actually hadn’t crossed my mind.
On the plus side, if I ever decide to diversify my revenue streams, I am permitted to become a lunar landlord.
I especially appreciate the tactful wording of the rental clause (“You may rent to any being of your choice…”) since it leaves open the possibility of leasing to an extraterrestrial.
Given the logistical challenges of getting a U-Haul into space, I doubt I’ll be homesteading on the Moon in the near future.
But at least I now have a nice, quiet place to retire.
It seems only a matter of time before every shadowy crater on the moon is glittering with deluxe retirement homes.
What aging tycoon wouldn’t choose to spend his golden years playing bingo in the Sea of Tranquility?
I can already see the cover of the brochure for the Lunar Senior Living Facility: Two white-haired men in spacesuits cruise over pale dunes in a moon buggy, while beneath them a caption reads: With no air resistance and just one-sixth the gravity of Earth, you can hit a golf ball for miles!
The average lifespan of an American male is 78 years.
So I’m not sure if I’ll reach my 1000 full moon milestone.
But if I do, I plan to celebrate.
In India, the 1000 full moon party is known as a Sahasra Chandra Darshan.
My Sahasra Chandra Darshan will be held on Tuesday, December 23rd, 2064.
Please save the date because you’re all officially invited.
Just follow the map below.
Satya is a fellow Substacker. He writes the intriguing Kaleidoscope newsletter, which I encourage you to sign up for here:
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See you on the Pink Moon!