When I get to “Good night nobody,” I always have to pause. What does it mean?! The thought is far too existential to follow a comb and brush and to precede mush. But there it is, in black and white: Margaret Wise Brown’s version of Godot.
And anyway, how can somebody say good night to nobody? Is it the same as when I say good night to my little boy, holding him close as we rock in the chair? Is he just something I dreamed up — some drooly, chubby, babbling figment of my imagination? Is it like the sun setting in gold waves across our lawn, the moon rising in a clear sky, the stars saying good night to another day of nothing? Or is it something much more ominous — some moment of foreboding? A reference to the way the universe will someday say good night to me?
Good night nobody.
Henry smiles at the comb and brush. He is waiting in anticipation for the mush. But I am distracted as we finish the story, as I am still fixated on nobody.