Mars 1

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48 hours ago
I was sitting at home
Trying to be “the good wife”
Hiding envelopes
And emails
From Captain Welling
I kept putting it off …
My husband needs me here
You know ?
I’m a wife now

Not that ours is a marriage
Of novel status
He chases things
Dreams
And God
He calls me to his chair
Asking me to sit in his lap
His hands roaming over me
Under my shirt
But I feel nothing
Just nausea
“Do you love me?”
He asks
Don’t make me say it
Not like this …
I don’t feel afraid
Anymore
I just don’t care
I look at him
And try to get up
His hand grabs my wrist
Keeping me in the chair
He looks
At me pitifully
“I’ve been praying
I have a plan for us
And you can assist me”

I look at him
“I haven’t heard about this
Before
What about my degree?
I’ve been thinking about going back into it…”
He laughs
“You mean you think you can go and be something?
What,you think you’re better than everyone else?”

I just leave the room
God hasn’t told me anything about
A plan
Or assisting
I feel things
I’m a sensitive person
A feeler
But
Dammit ….
My husband
He uses my senses against me
To get the reactions he wants
Even going so far as physical anger

I feel empty
I feel useless
I feel …trapped
Isolated
I can’t breathe….
I can’t breathe

Sunday morning
Captain Welling came to my door
Tall against the afternoon
Sun
and very straight forward
His face was set
His eyes were earnest
And Sincere
But hiding something
“I need you,Anna you are the most qualified…it’s a one way trip…
Mars 1 is happening.
But
I can’t do it without you …
there are only 75 people Anna,you are the last of four.”

I put my face in my hands
All my work
All my writing
All my studying
What was I doing
Me and Welling
Went to school together
He knew me
Probably better than
My husband
A hell of a lot better
And then
I started to cry
“All my life I’ve had something heavy
I’m supposed to do weighing on me…
But I don’t know what it is
What if I miss it?
What if this is it?
I feel like I’m drowning
But I can’t just go…”

He smiled slightly and put his hand on
My wrist…
“You can
You’re more than this
And you are your own…
No one owns you…
Even in love
And I can tell you
Anna
This is it
There will be
No other shot
We leave in 26 hours”

space
It’s cold
Earth is far away
And there is no isolation
Compared to the feeling you get
When you watch it …shrinking before you…
I woke up with turbulence
Something was wrong
I turned my face to the glass
And saw
Earth collapsing in on herself
Dissolving
Shot through by a comet

I heard
Captain Welling
Communicating
To someone
But how?
Earth is ..gone
When Ariel
Stepped in the bay with me
And watched the light show before us
“It’s like the Fourth of July huh?”
I probably looked at her like she was a
Raving lunatic..she looked right back at me with tears in her eyes
“Listen,evacuating an entire planet
Was impossible ….
But getting the best
The alphas
The ones who can build back
That was a possibility
That’s why we needed you…
You can tell our story
You can help build
There are 300 all together
From around the world
Together
We can do this”

I looked at her
“300? How ?”

“We had just enough time
10 years to build and plan
To search for the right people”

“10 fucking years!”

“Listen,how would you like to go?
In panic
Counting down?
Staring at the sky?
Waiting??
With no where to go.
Or sleeping
Living
Fucking
Drinking
Completely unaware…
This is us.
The future.
No wars
No crimes
Only hope
Because that’s all we have
We either live
Or we die.”

I look back at the fragments
It’s hard to picture cities
And history
There
It’s like time
And sin
Somehow
Erased itself
I don’t know about this new possibility
Before us….
It’s hard to believe
But it’s better
Than the years I’ve spent
It has hope

Ariel turns back to me and smiles
“Oh and Anna…”
I think I see her fighting off crying
She swallows hard..
“Welcome to Mars 1”

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