Saturday, 20 February 2010
Short Story - The Jupiter Run
Looking down on the Eastern seaboard, on the home I hardly know, I press one finger against the window. Imagine I can feel the emptiness of space a few inches away on the other side of the pressure hull. Cover up Texas with one thumb, all of the United States with the palm of one hand.
The Sea Of Tranquillity slides by in all its magnificent desolation. A typhoon in the South China Sea is nothing but a decorative swirl from this distance. Down there inside the spiral at the mercy of its power, ships can be foundering, homes washed away, lives destroyed, but from across this lifeless gulf it's the gentle adornment to an azure jewel.
I can never stay for long, amongst all the noise, before I start to get jumpy. Two months is the most I've been able to stand it (never really got my land legs back, to be truthful). Maybe I'll last a little longer this time, maybe I won't. The one thing I can be sure of is that I'll be back in the office signing on the dotted line for another Jupiter Run, knowing it'll be the last I'll see of Earth for at least two years.
The symptoms always begin the same way. I can't sleep, have to go out and watch the sky. It's not the same, though; the glare that Man makes with his civilisation ruins the purity of what's out there above the the frail skin of atmosphere. Then I long to get back to this, my other home. To leave all the madness behind and sail out once again into a silent black ocean that owns more of my soul than I care to admit.