SPACE: Archives

It began with an argument and just got more complicated. I vanished and was whooshed up somewhere. I had no idea who, what, where, even when and certainly not how. I thought I had fallen asleep and had one of those out of body experiences. Then I figured I had suddenly died and was leaving the body at a remarkable speed but I was convinced very shortly that was not the case. Then I felt I may be dreaming the whole thing. It was not an actual out of body experience but a dream with that as a prominent feature.

I remember objects and light, speech even, a gesture and then I was gone. I spent a good deal of time in utter fright trying to figure it out. I kept feeling for my body. It seemed to be there. But I wasn't wearing any apparatus that would keep me alive in the anger of space. I always viewed it as the silent machine that would take everything in the end. I knew I was in a definite coordinate because there, below me, was Earth. The brilliance of Earth!

I kept asking myself, "why haven't I been annihilated yet?" Funny how that phrase kept entering my mind since I had read a bit of modern physics and was told, with conviction, that the universe was a great void, a vacuum and was not sustainable for life. Only precious pockets like Earth could provide the sustenance necessary to let the living live. Later I learned how to maneuver so that I could go down to the surface but at first I was lost; a pathetic newbie to the old salt less ocean of space. And even though I was not by nature a conspiratorial type I believed it was not a coincidence I was here or that more were involved in this strange occurrence.

* * * * * * * *

So much at the pivot to turn so the flint gives the spark and the wheel is lifted into a new angle of attack. So that little Earth fades and all our markings so much endearing nonsense we salute it on our way into the darkness. And the darkness was a coiling thing so we couldn't avoid the feeling a being spun at incredible speed so that what we thought was ourselves peeled off in layers, along with parts of our body and we saw it all floating without, as yet, a voice to make it real.

We wanted to shout, "goodbye you rat world! You fools paradise!" And the faster we spun and the more disembodied we became we could see so precisely down there, down into the all-know, the totality of it like looked to me, at that moment, like a shined up beggar bowl with colorful worms trying to get inside. And then the ice flew by like a huge planet itself.

There is a terrifying moment when the polarities reverse and the next face you see is gruesome.

"Are we expanding?" we have already asked. "Or are we imploding and will be crushed by our own material?" We wanted to know but there was silence. It was a good silence, a fair silence considering the vast night we were in. It was a spectacular island of nothingness lit up here and there but we already knew those lights were huge.

We wanted to see the surface of Mars but there was nothing but the taste of ions. Mars would come with some good structure I was certain of that. But it didn't come and I felt a bit betrayed as if I had been put me harm's way and then of perp had run off somewhere.

* * * * * * * *

In this sudden turn of events what had been so familiar became shattered. It produced a sinking feeling, a nauseated sense that perhaps all those who I thought were wrong were right after all. Perhaps there was more to things than the obvious. The women I knew had odd theories they had attempted to foist on me. "There are spaceships behind Halley's comet," one said. Another believed that flying saucers were seen going and coming in the cone of Mt. Lassen, a mountain I had climbed around in my youth. Another female acquaintance insisted that in the ancient days extraterrestrials had come down and had intercourse with human women to produce a new species. And I had lived with a woman who believed she could telepathically communicate with a "space being," as she called it named Zogar. She had printed some of his messages in the margins of dictionaries she had on the bookshelf. "Zogar says the Earth is disliked in the rest of the universe." "Zogar dreams of black Earth women."

In a moment of horror I thought that this sudden voyage would meet up with all of these entities that the women I knew believed in and the universe would be revealed as something different than I thought it was.

* * * * * * * *

And it was a blazing light and I did light up, unprepared for the joy that filled me as though, at that moment, I truly knew what I had always wanted to know.

My fleeting glances of Earth proved to me that it was a shimmering beauty with this odd symmetry to it made me feel homesick even moments after the event. "If this is the last I see of you," I cried out, "you have left a wonderful impression."

My life on the surface had been difficult and painful. I had known the misery that one has when they know they are something but treated as if they are nothing. I had known poverty in bad cities and broken relationships that meant the heart flares out quickly and what is left? Buildings and roads. Steel and asphalt.

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David Eide