Living For History

“Sweetheart, I have something to tell you.”

“What?”

Ron prayed palm to palm to his lips summoning himself to say, “I’m going to Mars.”

“Sorry? What was that? I can’t hear you through your hands.”

“I’m going to Mars.”

“What does that mean?”

“It means I’m going to Mars. The trip takes twenty years. Do you think you can wait for me?”

“You expect me to wait for you for twenty years?

“I don’t expect anything, I was just hoping.”

“The trip will take twenty years and you really think I would wait? Did you really think we could stay together if you take this trip?”

“I’ll be the first man on-”

“I know what it means! You don’t! You chose your job over me? You don’t love me! Why’d you marry me?”

“I didn’t know I’d get this opportunity.”

“It doesn’t matter. You always must have hoped and you didn’t tell me.”

“I talked about my dream to travel Mars lots of times.”

“Yeah, but you left out the part about it taking twenty years.”

“Really, I didn’t know or expect-”

“It doesn’t matter. You’ve made your decision. Go. Go to fucking Mars, don’t let your marriage stop you.”

“Sweetheart-”

“Don’t call me that. No I’m not. Fucking Mars is your sweetheart.”

“I have to go, I’m so sorry.”

“Sorry. Sure, you’re sorry. Look at you, you can’t wait to leave me and get stuck in a little spaceship with two other guys for twenty years. That’s your idea of a good time.”

“I’m going to Mars.”

“Yeah, I heard you. What do you think I’m deaf? I might have been dumb enough to marry you, but I’m not deaf!”

“Emma-”

“Just go. Get out of here. Sooner the better.”

“Emma-”

“Just go!”

Ron left to go to Mars. And ten years later when he reached The Red Planet, he found it empty of any sign of life. Worse than discovering nothing worth discovering, was the thought of getting back into the space shuttle and spending the next ten years with three other astronauts he had grown to hate. He hoped History would be kinder than the Present and write his life story better than he knew it.

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4 thoughts on “Living For History

  1. granbee

    Ah, so much for the spirit of adventure living forever! This one didn’t even survive ten years! And just what is the significance of the abandoned wife? Abandoning intimacy for far-outness? What? See, you have been quite successful in planting these pesky thoughts in our little air-heads!

    Reply
    1. cottonbombs Post author

      Rose! I’m always happy to comment on the significance of a piece I wrote, but, just because I wrote it doesn’t mean I now know it any better than you or any reader. To me, this is a story about losing sight of what is important and how the true journey is not out but in.

      Reply
  2. Steven Myers

    the irony of this guy arriving to mars
    and feeling kind of empty and despising the return journey
    with three guys who look way different than they did under bar shadow dreams
    and being 10 years away, rather than a short walk across a bridge.
    i love this. past, present, future, and space tavel all packed into one playful and potent bullet!

    Reply

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