Dialogues and Space!

*Waves* Hello!!! I could have waited to post this… but I didn’t want to. This is a little dialogue piece I wrote. Called Tales From the Edge! Yes the exclamation point is part of the title. You’ll see why

Tales From the Edge!

Rating: PG nothing triggering in this one.

Pretty blonde reporter, Katie Starr sits across a man, Morgan Adams. He is dressed in khakis and a polo shirt. Buzzed hair and tall with long lean muscle, he sits, a bit nervous.

Katie: I’m Katie Starr live with Morgan Adams, one of the three astronauts back from the edge of the universe!

Morgan: (smiles) Thanks for having me.

K: (dramatically) The world is dying to know: what was it like? The edge of the universe?

M: (laughs) You started with a hard one! It’s, uh, hard to explain. Have you ever seen dust through a light?

K: (confused)…yes.

M: It’s like that, except you’re the piece of dust, surrounded by light.

K: (excited) Sounds unforgettable.

M: (forced smile) It was, but my eyes are glad we didn’t stay very long.

K: How long were you at the edge?

M: Well we started to feel the affects of the edge about two months from it.

K: What affects?

M: First off: the heat at the edge means we had to adjust our spaceship to deal with the rising temperature surrounding the ship. A month later,sleep became difficult because it was so bright all the time. We also had to be careful not to go too close, or the gravitational pull would suck us in.

K: (purrs) How dangerous! You must have been exhausted.

M: (Shrug) you adjust.

K: How long did it take for you to reach the edge?

M: About 3 years, there , 4 years back give or take.

K: Seven years! How did you keep yourself entertained?

M: Finally solved the rubick’s cube. (both laugh) No, we had ongoing experiments to occupy us through a lot of it. Nothing too exciting, unless your audience is sub-atomic physicists.

K: 7 years is a long time to be away. What did you miss most while you were gone?

M: It changed over time. First, it was hydrated food. I would have killed for a ripe peach. (laughs) Then it was the sound of my daughter’s voice. She has a beautiful voice, and I missed her singing so much. After that, it was my wife’s smile. Luckily, I brought some family videos, and would watch her just beam at our children. The worst were things I couldn’t carry with me: the wind on my face, and the smell of summer rain.

K: (nods sympathetically) It sounds like it was a difficult experience, being so far from your loved ones. But you had two other men on your ship.

M:  Yes, great men. Ahmed Abdullah and Samuel Isaacson. I was lucky to have them with me.

K: Still, three men all alone for seven years stuck on a tiny ship. Talk about cabin fever!

M: (snorts) Of course. I’m gonna be honest: we had our disagreements. Some of them.. pretty stupid. But, like you said, we were stuck on a rocket together. We couldn’t go anywhere. So we worked our issues out. I have to say I’m a much better communicator than I was before.

K: What else have you gained from seeing the edge of the universe?

M: (deadpans) I learned not to fall over. (grins) Seriously? Perspective. Seven years of travelling warpspeed, you realize how small you are. How small even Earth is. We have all this amazing technology, and there’s still so much we don’t understand. It can be a terrifying realization, but for me, it was a huge relief.

K: (smiles) Something we should all keep in mind. Thank you so much Morgan! (Turns to the camera) Up next: the deadly continental gangs. Could your children be joining these deadly groups? Stay tuned after our break.

Thanks for reading y’all! I’ll have more stuff for ya this weekend

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The Distance Between Me and You

Hello! Happy Early Fourth of July to my fellow Americans. It’s one of my favorite holidays to celebrate in DC. The fireworks on the national mall are amazing. Just don’t take your dog… bad personal experience.

Today, I have a more experimental short story for you.  Really proud of how this came out. But warning: Angst ahead.

Rating: PG, although adult themes.

The Incalculable Distance Between Earth and the Statosphere

I.

He left us last night,
bag in hand and
abandoned
this world at 9 am,
burning his
way through
the stratosphere.
Each time, Billy
claps as Daddy’s
rocket presses
through, I sit
back, my
throat catches.
Breathe returns only
when he’s a spec,
safe in the dark.
II.

He tasted different when  he returned from space. In the beginning, it unnerved me. In the privacy of night, my hands and mouth sought him out. The planes of his body felt the same, reassuring my hands. But when I breathed in his scent or tasted his skin, I encountered a stranger. One full of mint and metal not the allspice and sandalwood I fell in love with.

I gasped the first time, turned on a light in my confusion. It was his face beside me, his weight sinking the bed. Still, my body felt confused. Who was in my bed?

“What is it?” he murmured, warm hands cradling my face.

I laughed at my own nervousness. “Nothing, I’m just glad you’re home.”

Now, my nose and tongue welcome these scents. They are the bits he brings back from the darkness. They tell me he’s home again, real and safe.

 

III.
Conversations I wish I never overheard

 

“Daaad?”

“Yes Billy?”

“Why are you staring at the moon? You’re there all the tiiiime.”

“Well, it just looks different from here.”

“The moon’s the moon. It can’t be thaat different.”

“Yes and no…Yes and no.”

IV.

The bag I pack:
One pair of pants pressed and folded
One button down Oxford for Houston
One leather belt
Five knockaround shirts (always included: Georgetown and Tulane)
Three, no two pairs of sweats. (too many last time)
One Sweatshirt
10 pairs of boxers
5 pairs of flannel socks
Toothbrush
Floss
One handkerchief with one spritz of my perfume (he’s never asked, I’ve never explained. We agree in the silence)

The bag he packs:
One copy of Moby Dick, creased and worn
One black notebook
Two photographs

  • One: It’s me and him on our honeymoon. The sun is bright on our faces, he’s picked me up. We’re both    laughing
  • Two: Billy and I sit across the table. Billy is four, and explaining something with his hands wild in the air. A smile plays on my lips as I sneak a glance at the camera.

One grey river stone, smooth, worn.

I want to be assured by the weight he carries with him. But there’s no gravity in space.

V.

The sounds of separation

 

Zip. Zip. Zip.

Did you?

Yes

And?

That too. Besides, it’s time for you to go. (deep breathe) Billy! Come say goodbye!

(slow shuffle)

Do you have to go Daddy?

I wish I didn’t, but I have to.

When will you be baaack?

Three weeks. Think you can be good til then?

I’ll try

Love ya kiddo.

Love ya too

(six feet walk towards the door. Four walk through. It squeaks open and closed)

I’ll miss you (sniffle)

I’ll miss you too

(Kiss)

Be safe

I’ll be back soon

(two feet walk down to the car. One door opens and closes. Ignition starts. The car rumbles away.)

VI.

Sometimes I wish I could call you in space. I could tell you how Billy wouldn’t go to sleep last night. Or that I ran into Mrs. Jones. She once again asked where you were. She still doesn’t believe you are an astronaut, or that you exist at all.

But phone calls would cause more problems. Billy would cry, missing you even more. Would the connection even work? I imagine trying to talk over white noise. Feeling further and further from you.

Secretly, I don’t want the option. You go somewhere further than outer space. There’s a room inside you with space for one. A room made of metal, and filled with mint. I don’t want to hear your voice, so close and yet far away. My heart would break to see your eyes, but not you inside them.

Instead, I wait. I count the days til you break through the stratosphere. Pray to the moon you will come back to me. So far you have. Still, I hold my breath. Waiting.