Red Sunken Dream
I blame David Bowie. If not for him maybe I wouldn't have stormed up to my room that night and clicked the link to secure my non refundable seat. My mom was listening to Life On Mars when I got home. My acceptance letter was open on my phone. I'd read it three times. I was gonna walk up to her and hand her the phone let her read it over and then I'd ask her what she thought I should do.
It had been her and her brothers idea that I apply in the first place. They were drunk and elbowing me on the couch whenever the "apply now" adds came on during NCIS episodes. It was during the second break in the third episode that they finally got me to open the application and fill it out. They didn't even suggest that I replace Rose with Fart when it required a middle name.
I was looking at her a moment in the doorway when David Bowie ruined everything. She was working in the kitchen. I took in the sight, the idea of being on a different planet then where she licked the spoon after each time she stired whatever sauce or soup was cooking making me suddenly greatful for her.
Then she opened her mouth. "Close the door would you! Ever since that stupid green bill or deal or whatever we pay double for our heat!"
I started to open my mouth to explain that the 'stupid green deal' was a conceptual piece of legislation that had been sitting on Mitch Miconell's desk for fifteen years and as such could not possibly be effecting what we payed for heat in a typically warm december and that in fact the cause of the increase in price was due to de regulated utility companies having the power to charge whatever they pleased, but she was already singing. She launched right into the chorus.
I closed the door softly, feeling sick at the words. Words written ten years before she was born about a world that was already falling apart. Falling apart in a way that my mother had happilly voted for and cheered when other's were prevented from voting against. Suddenly I wanted out. I wanted to be as far away from her as I could possibly be and never see her again. I looked at my phone and realized I could. I could put 54 million miles between us and I could look out at a different sky only sometimes seeing a light that was a planet that she was a small insignificant part of.
I rushed to my room before she could sing about Mickey Mouse or Lennon. I clicked the link to accept and clicked the box for the terms and conditions and clicked one last button and it was done.
There were austronaut classes and terriforming classes and fitness trainings in the next few months. I told my mom I had joined a buisness club. She liked the sound of that, thought it meant I had learned some good values.
The day of the launch I slept a few hours after supper and then snuck out at two in the morning. The house was silent and dark, I took my one allowed memento, a small frog keychain I won at a fair for my dad and took back after the funeral. I thought about leaving a note. I even started one, but as soon as I'd written the words "dear Mom" I realized I had nothing to say to her.
The launch was scheduled for 5 AM. I sat in the waiting room with the other 23 choosen travelers. We were all silent and nervous. Some were still crying from their tearful goodbyes to their families. Others wore my bitter expression that tried to say fuck you to a whole planet. I pittied the criers until 4:30. It was then that we made the walk out to the shuttle. The families were in a glass walled room to watch they waved and blew kisses at their favorite children. It was then that I began thinking that the ball in my stomach might be partially made of doubt and regret not just nervousness at being launched into space.
As soon as I had been securely fastened into my launch seat I knew for sure it was regret I was feeling. I knew for sure that I had to see my mom at least one more time I had to talk to her, thank her for all she'd done for me maybe, or tell her how stupid she is sometimes. I was just getting the courage to tell one of the technicians that when the sedatives kicked in.
I woke up in my new room a few minutes ago. I don't remember what tecnical marvel got me all the way without waking up. It hadn't seemed that important in the classes and it seems even less important now. I have a window in my room, a clear view into the red desert that leads to an empty sky and beyond that somewhere is earth. Earth which I'll never go back to. I wish I knew what I would say to my mom if I could go back. I wish I could scream those words into this desert, to get it out of me, but there aren't any specific words. What I want is the chance to be near her again. To have a chance to fight that bitter hatred that rises up my throat at the thought of her, and show her with some empty words barely released that there is love to go along with them.
I won't have the chance. I'm stuck here in my Red Sunken dream.