travel plans thwarted

Mars: The New Utah?

Exploration reveals that Mars looks like Utah. I’m ready to go. Who’s with me? If we hurry we can get the force field up in time to keep out the idiots. Maybe. Come to think of it, Mars might be too high profile. We need a lesser planet. Yes, a lesser planet will do nicely. Perhaps even a “dwarf planet.” Ceres sounds nice. It’s about the size of Texas. That’s big enough for a few of us if we spread out.

So, the preparations are coming along. I’m building a spaceship out of old sci-fi novels. I’m literally gluing paperbacks together into a spaceship shape. Really it’s going to fly, I swear.

Well, yes, I can understand that maybe you don’t want to fly with me. It’s cool. I’m used to flying solo. We’d probably all just end up irritating each other anyway. Or exploding. It’s not shaping up to be a big ship. I can only find so many free sci-fi novels, after all. I’m also a little worried about all that cheap pulp burning up as the “ship” approaches escape velocity. Need to work on those heat shields. Maybe some old National Geographics taped to the outside?

Okay, this is actually just a pipe dream. I don’t even have the plans completed. I’m sorry I got your hopes up. Maybe we can build some model rockets instead. We can take them out to the country and set them off in my friend’s backyard, away from the city, in the dark, the stars twinkling above. We can squint really hard until our eyes go blurry with almost-tears. Someone will light the fuses and the rockets will be off: up, up, up into that place we usually only go in big metal winged tubes packed with fussy sweating orbs, free beverages, too-tight seats. With our squinty salt-rimed eyes we’ll travel with those rockets into the unknown, leaving the ground for a second or two in our heads, and thinking about what it would feel like to not ever come back.

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