Sunday, August 23, 2009


We were trained for these situations. We were told during training that one day there could be an accident, that we could be lost forever in space. We were trained to stay calm and meditate so we would not hyperventilate in our helmets before the crew could plan a rescue mission.

Getting ready for our first few outings we would joke about it. “Tod just wanted to thank you for your cot with the window, being best buds and all.” “You better hall your shit out of my space bugboy.” Then out of the hatch one of us would go. Sometimes there was no time for a quick rebuttal and you would do your best to show them the finger with those overly thick space gloves.

Being the only girl I got a lot of “hey baby it may be your last chance”. At which point I would pull out my laser cutter and smile. I don’t get a lot of those lines anymore but now that I am out here floating and my rigger has blown I think of them and those clowns. As the only girl I had to be tough, but now drifting, I am left here to ponder if I didn’t go to far. Did they check my rigger, the cord? It was routine procedure but we have been busy with the pod getting older and needing more work so that a lot of routine procedure was neglected.

There was the time I snapped a picture of Tom nude in the cleaning pod and forwarded it to the crew. It was suppose to be just a simple forward to ourselves but somehow it was sent to Earth space station as well. That did not go well. No, not well at all.

Then there was Dem. Dem was sending me messages anonymously for weeks till finally I was able to trace some of the content back to something I had read in his personal files about his love for bugs. Enraged I forwarded all his message to the crew, destroyed his cover and nicknamed him bugboy which stuck.

Before finding him out though, I had gotten into a Tiff with Nick. I had been so sure it was Nick.

The confined space, the monotony, the incessant sound of the air system, and the emails were beyond anything training could have prepared me for.

When we were on computer maintenance duty I accused him. He denied it. “Come on” I hissed “only someone as dumb and corny as you could write stuff like that.” He grabbed me and pushed me against the console. I clawed aimlessly because his arms were too long. That night, I stole Nick’s picture of his wife and through down the hatch during a regular garbage dump. That was a golden rule here. Never touch anyone stuff. It was there life.

Through my closed eyes I could imagine the picture frame floating by with his wife accusing eyes staring at me.

Alone floating in space, I tell myself not to cry but I know my face is wet, when suddenly and very gently, I feel a hand on my shoulder.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Beneath the Fir Tree - writing assignement #7


his is a very hard assignment I had in creative writing class. We had to write like a young man who just murdered someone describe a lake, yet we could't mention the murder. I think I sort of failed at making the voice into a young male...

I feel very sorry for myself when i get these horrid assignements. They make me re-think my goals of becoming a writer. They also make me cry in frustration....

Sitting on the small wood pier Buddha style, hands lying down palms facing heaven I watch the day fading. The light growing weaker fails to penetrate the water but instead reflects dully the evening sky and surrounding trees back up like dead eyes. The reflection below becomes a darker simulation of the real world. Through this upside down place I see the last of the geese escaping south leaving mournful cries behind them which reverberate against the hills in a strange decadent way. Perhaps these were the older geese, crying out, upset that they were finally being forced to leave after all, knowing that they might not make it back next year and that death itself pursued them like the wind.

The lake has already lost it’s golden summer hue and was turning more monochrome as winter made it’s approach. Most of the trees lost their leaves and stood there, arms raised, as if they were waiting for someone to come dress them or perhaps imploring the sky for warmth and sun or simply begging God for salvation. A few meters away there is one who has a lost a limb and whose cut had closed over itself so that it looks like a gaping mouth howling at me.

In the distance there are a group of dark birds in a tree which fly off squawking loudly as if suddenly disturbed by an unseen danger. The pine trees dark silhouette cut the dim sky in a jagged territorial pattern claiming the little light left in it. Then there is everything that lies hidden below. Underneath the forest of seaweed, the plankton, the fish. Deep down. Even that would become it’s own little separate world cordoned off by the ice which would spread on the surface. A large silver casket sealing off the sun, the sky, the oxygen. Fish will sink to the bottom of the frozen lake like weighted corpses anchored to the ground. The carp uses his tail to bury himself deeply beneath the dark murky mud. He will wait for his moment in the shadows as I had waited, and he will know, as I knew.

I think of lighting up a cigarette but refrain, understanding and cooperating with the preparations and the restraint the earth around me requires. I admire the purity that winter demands of everything in it’s path. The crickets begin to chirp quietly in their secretive way pulling the strings of fate irrevocably forward towards the lake and I become lost in their compelling calls and the messages held within.

Nature is perfection but people fail to understand their part. Their humanity has been compromised by their gadgets into a false sense of believing they rule the earth. They no longer see the lake or the world they live. They have become mindless zombies imitating the other mindless zombies they see on their flat screen high definition televisions. But when they see me they remember who they are when I stand tall before them and say “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do ..."

I pick up a small stone lying next to by foot, white as bone, cold as forgotten, and I kiss it.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Night bus

I squeezed into the packed bus shutting the night out behind me. Making my way to the last empty seat I brush through the other passengers like a car moving through the bristles of a car wash. Having made it, I can now see that the woman in the other seat has left her hand bag intentionally where I had planned to sit. I turn to move back towards the door I usually leave from but there is a family arguing about where they are going to go next; each seemly have their own destination in mind, with the young daughter being the most adamant. I swivel back and look at the hand bags owner. “Excuse me.” “What?” I look at the bag. She stares for a while, her eyes narrow, taking her time to remove it from the seat as if making a point; to begrudge me what little room remains on this bus. Unzipping my coat and unwinding my scarf, I settle in allowing my weight to rest down hard against the seat. I pull my feet out of my furry half boots, alternately tensing and relaxing them until resting them on top of the suede boots, naked, they suddenly seem fragile and delicate like porcelain doves nestling close to each other. Slouching slightly, growing more accustomed to the light tone murmur on the bus, I yawn.

I look out the window and watch the people hurry from store to store in the city streets until my eyes get stuck on the stillness of a couple whose arms are wrapped in each others open coats like a human silhouette shaped salt and pepper set I have on my kitchen table which interlock by means of their complimentary shape. The man moves his head away from the woman’s neck to look at her as if to see her reaction to what she is saying or to allow the sincerity of what he has said to shine through his eyes. I recognize the man. He is my husband.

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