Toes are curled, I was biting on my lower lip, I know that the first ascent is the most crucial part. I was holding on to the control wheel when I realized that my palms begin to excrete sweat. I am on my way to chase a runaway star that stole one of the space probes earth sent, on a mission to take photographs of an alien civilization. I guess mankind has not enough problems to solve.
Just about to reach the midpoint of the stratosphere, the weight of my entire upper torso is dependently leaning against the backrest of the rubber and the polyester seat. Surprisingly I am still conscious at this height, thanks to my life support pack; one of my many worries was crossed out of my list.
On a vertical leap, I was pulling back the throttle lever more and more in a gradual fashion. I was taking my time as if I was having second thoughts. I already miss the chirping noises my winged neighbors make when they wake and the smell of sautéed garlic in the morning, I was telling myself, the sooner this thing ends the faster I can get back to my couch and reruns.
Something that I never quite understood, something I have not seen in books and what they have taught us in our spaceflight training. The second I flew through the marshmallow-like skies, I was caught off guard by this immense ocean of clouds. Who would have thought that Atlantis did exist? Below me I saw the dreamer in a boy with his World War II leather headgear and a pair of pilot goggles; he was on a wooden kayak paddling against the waves trying to keep up with me. The pigments of ether land gently against the window pane like soft voices from the conversing angels playing in the sun. I closed my eyes for a little while, hiding them behind their coverings, as I enjoy the drowsing winds passing through the blades and the fins of the vessel. The bright blues and the stripes of white from the cirrus clouds from all around were like a warm homey blanket in the cold.
As I keep the pace of an easy stride, I went through the small notebook that I had from my jacket reading the inscription from a lunar kiss. I was reminded of the courage I represent, and the emblem of a happy ending this deed for many. I was humbled clasping my hands together, it was almost like a prayer.
I took the time in a vacuum, shutting down my senses for a while. And deep down under the layers of slumber, I hear the soundtrack from Space Invasion is at play. I then found myself speeding through the laser beams, on a counterflow against the showering meteorites coming my way. I was trying to reconcile what was going on with the fragments of what I could get from the last memory that I had. I was searching for anything familiar around me, any clue that would help me connect the dots to make sense of this picture but I just couldn’t.
I was with the celebrities of the universe, Saturn and its 62 lovely mistresses, the gentle giant in Jupiter and the controversial Pluto. They are both my space travel contemporaries and TV programming.
It was during those moments of awe and transcendence that it dawned to me that it is okay to wander and to be lost, to ask a question and never get the answer, that there are things within our existence that are too grand to decipher.
I was lost in thought, realizing that I am but of a mere speck, just a grain in the sand. But my sheer microscopic existence has also made me feel grateful by this overwhelming grandeur that surrounds me. I was drenched by a thousand kisses of comets, asteroids, and satellites. The space was deep; its breath swallows the moons and the entirety of the constellations and the Milky Way.
The faraway stars are like powdered diamonds from the rough that were scattered across the night sky. This must be what Captain Ahab must have felt like when he was chasing the great sperm whale in the polar caps.
I guess humanity had always found its relief in deep explorations and space missions, searching for another frontier. The human spirit and its curiosity are designed to go on and prevail. And I would say that it is alright to search and ask why, how and what, but It is in the acceptance and believing that there are profound anomalies not meant to be understood.
And what makes a perfect ending to these wanderings is a short humble conclusion of what makes humanity great. – The ability to understand that it is alright not to know.
An acceptance that there is a definitive yet obscured border between the imaginative and the conscious, in the hopes that these lucid thoughts beneath the waves of the words are enough to finish this never-ending prose.