☦A story about our Cosmonaut.☦
I am a second, human-shaped moon circling around my home. That lie comforts me when I am at my loneliest.
I am a forgotten, lost human, whose efforts will be remembered by no one. That truth reminds me when I am at my most lucid.
Lucidity doesn't come often. It's easier to try and sleep the years off of me. Sometimes, when my dreams are generous, I can be nestled in these comforts for a small eternity. But I always wake up to the silence in my suit, in my helm. I used to hate it some time ago, but all the hatred has bled out of me like all my tears.
My visor is covered with dust that cannot be wiped off. I have tried everything to remove it, including my spit. It's just another mystery that is my existence, now. I used to dwell on myself a long time ago. Panic struck me often in those times, where I'd fear I was no longer human, no longer alive nor dead. At one point I was afraid that I had somehow ascended the paradigm of life and death, and so was beyond even the grim reaper's kiss.
Now that all my fears have been confirmed, I am no longer afraid. I am no longer sad or angry. One can call it acceptance, but I don't think I can accept what I don't understand.
I am a vertigo state, not quite falling and not quite rising. My thoughts, too, are not solid around any concept to explain what I am now. I have let go even of the solidity of my name, as there was no point of having a name when no one is there to call you by it. It is easier this way, to think fluid as my body is.
My home is bright as a New Year's ornament, reminding me that even if I am not down there to continue it, the world continues itself. When I am at my loneliest, the web of lights over the earth keep me company in a way that the far away glow of the stars cannot.
I look forward to the night, when the web glows brightest. Sometimes I imagine that the web lifts off of the world to swaddle me in a net of warmth, gently pulling me down and returning me back home. But then I wake up from my dreams and find myself here again, cold and alone.
The lights probably began to dim a while ago, but I only notice it now on this night when I am lonely and empty and looking to my web of light to guide me into comfort. Some of the strings are thin, worn, or cut. A small black out, perhaps. Still, it slides worry into my flesh and that worry proceeds to infest my intestines with doubt. The itching sensation of concern flashes hot on my skin like oil from a pan.
Desperate to run from my emotions, I shut my gaze to sleep.
When I am again awake, I remain trapped in my anxiety and find the lights have not been this dim in a long time. I would give everything to be on the ground again, if only to be able to ask what is happening to cause things to go dark. It is easy to delude onesself that this is just some new technology that moves cities underground; any kind of excuse or explanation would do. But I know it is not that simple. My years shackled to my fate teaches me to assume my deepest anxiety is the truth.
I stay awake for as long as I can. My stomach tells me to be nauseous but there is nothing to vomit except the fear lodged in my intestines. I try to network my brain to the webbing of the lights, perhaps in a desperate attempt to be with my kind before they slip away and leave me behind. "I'm still here! I'm still here! Don't leave, I'm still here!"
None of my shouting does anything. The lights cannot hear me. No one can hear me. I am being pulled across an expanse of ocean and ice. I am an aurora borealis across the dark sky with no one to witness my flight.
The lights grow ever dimmer. I can help. I am an intelligent man who knows all of the latest technologies. I have even watched the technology evolve. Please net me down. Scoop me from the sky like a fish from the ocean. I can rebuild; we can rebuild. I resist the forces that pull me, screaming insanity into the far-away earth. The world is callous in its rejection.
Once, I awaken to find the world darker than I have ever seen it. I learn what it means to be sad again. I re-learn how to mourn. It is so much more painful to become reacquainted with this kind of sorrow now that I have nothing at all to comfort me. The stars reject me as callously as the earth and I am alone with my thoughts, reliving anew the grief that is being conscious in this cold state.
In a dream, it is many years into the future. The sun expands, consuming half the solar system. It swallows my tiny body whole, gulping me into its searing heat.
I am burned away to nothing.
I imagine it is the embrace of my family and friends as they welcome me home.