Apo Helios – Chapter 1 - Footnotes
apo "away from" + helios "sun"
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The astronomical events and times in the story are actual as observed from Jacksonville, Florida on December 25th, 2015. This includes the timing of the tides and currents in the Atlantic Ocean at Jacksonville Beach and the St. Johns River as it flows downtown under the “blue bridge”. Some of the characters are composites of people I know or have observed. Most of them know they’ve been used, or are appreciated. Except Willis.
1 “precisely 1:14 am”
The trigger for Apos Helios is that the moon is at aphelion, its farthest distance from the sun at 1:14 am on December 25th, 2015. At 1:14 am the tides are very low. Six hours later they are unusually high. It sets the course for the timing of scenes and the grandeur of the sun rising and the moon and setting opposite of each other in the sky on this particular morning.
1a Oct/November 2015 – Water Works – the ART of water, p.44 par. 7
References using physical exercise for withdrawal, and natural endorphins as an alternative to pain medication.
2 “just as the opposing moon sets”
Michael sees Kristina’s tail for the first time precisely when the moon sets, at 7:13 am. There’s a reason for that that. We’ll learn more about that in the next installment.
3 “just as the sun breaks the horizon”
Kristina is back in the water when the sun breaks the horizon at 7:21, just eight minutes after the moon sets. Possibly her eight-minute window?
1b May/June 2015 – Water Works - arkhi-tekton, p.54 par. 10
Climbing the dry waterfalls in Valdez, Alaska in 1989, with an injured leg, comforted by the sound of water above.
4 “Hours later, I am roused by a roaring in my head. The river is blocks away.”
We learn that the pouch has something to do with Michael’s somewhat enhanced senses. It’s 4:43 pm. The river reaches its maximum ebb velocity at this time as the water rushes back out to sea with the lowering tides.
5 “The blue bridge is just ahead. The sun is setting opposite the moon”
It is no coincidence that Michael is nearing the “blue bridge” just as the sun sets, at 5:32pm. The math says his walk from his place to the blue bridge took about 45 minutes.
6 “The rising full moon pulls the river back out to sea while I’m holding back a flood of tears, thinking about that bottle of pain meds.”
The moon rises at 6:09, now a half hour behind the sunset. The opposition of the two bodies is fading. The moon is pulling at the water in the river, and at Michael’s tears. He’s also feeling the tug from his medicine cabinet. Soon after Willis reminds him that he IS part of the water system.
True story, exact words, “You’re part of the water system.” Willis is a composite of the fellow that declared these words to me on the beach and a homeless gentlemen of the same name that walks the beaches of Jacksonville. More Willis to come.
7 “…as if he could hear the thought. Twilight ends as I feel the shawl’s grip, and we are under the power of the moon.”
At 6:16 pm twilight ends. All the light comes by way of the moon. which rose just seventeen minutes ago. It is then that Michael realizes that Willis can hear his thoughts. Soon after Michael can “hear” Kristina before she arrives.
8 “’To the sea with you Michael, while the tide is ebbing. There is a child coming.’ 8 I look at Willis.”
At 7:44 pm the ebb tide goes slack. Slack means the water is momentarily still. Then the river current switches direction as the tidal bulge sends water up river in the opposite direction. This means Kristina and Michael have only 45 minutes before they are swimming against the river current. Willis soon reveals that Kristina is troubled and has her own current to swim against. They need to hurry, there is a child coming but these tides may slow them down.
You can learn more about Kristina's beginnings in All the Angels Come.