Start of a short story I wrote about being able to breath in space
He was considered an intelligent man yet he could not quite put his finger on what he was about to attempt. He went through years of training but could not quite grasp the meaning behind this mission. He sat quietly on the porch with his full attention focused on the stars. He was breathing shallow breathes into his lungs while trying not to let his anxiety take over. He knew he was small but could never quite accept we are all small. He studied the universe and all of its mysteries but he could not quite wrap his finger around his anxiety encompassing his soon to be mission. He prepared for a journey but he had not yet pictured it as a reality. All of his dreams were coming true in just a few hours but yet he felt unfulfilled. He felt numb and void of any earthly attachment. The moment was sinking in that soon he would never be the same. He knew that this moment is why he pursued this as his career in life. Ever since he was a young child he knew what he wanted to be. He knew it sounded cliché but that didn’t stop him from realizing its potential. Besides, he was most likely doing it for a far more different reason than any other young boy. Every night he would look up at the stars and wonder with all of his youthful imagination could conjure up. Nights that would consist of wars in space, spaceships moving at the speed of light, dying stars forming black holes and nebulas, constellations constantly being renamed by the scientist Harvey Monroe.
Meanwhile, he was not sure what it was yet, but something inside him that night was making him feel uneasy. He had trained vigorously for years. Not only with his nose in books but also physically tested to his limits. He was a man who had been tailored to fit NASA’s standards. He went with the program and was ready to apply all that he learned. He was a handsome man, yet something about him gave him an approachable look. Maybe it was his light brown eyes that always lit up whether he was just entering a room or in deep thought. Maybe it was his gentle nature and his ability to make you feel at ease. But tonight he did not feel at ease. All of his research could not prepare him for what he was about to embark on. It could be his first adventure or his last adventure. He knew this, but still he did not think twice about being the first. In his mind, he was the first in many categories. He was the first to earn a (scientific award). His summers were spent at the university in the city or at the public library. He attended (university) where he graduated with a degree in (). He attended conferences and seminars by the most pronounced figures in the field. He was open-minded and always tested his and others’ logic. He didn’t settle for answers just because someone else said it. He came to his own conclusions. That to him was a great accomplishment and a first not only in his studies but with his family and community in which he came from.
Tonight he sat on the very porch in which he was raised. He never felt ashamed of where he came from but growing up on that farm with such a wondrous view above him made the twenty acre farm seem so small. He never felt burdened by the chores he was given because it was in those times that he made the most out of his situation. He kept a telescope on the hill he had purchased at a local thrift shop owned by his only friend at the time, Leo, who kept it especially for him. It was dropped off anonymously one morning along with a radio, microphone, and some other pieces of random objects. On Harvey’s 8th birthday Leo surprised him with it. Leo would tell Harvey, “You never know until you see it!” Sometimes Leo was more excited than Harvey. With every finding or new discovery Randy would make sure and tell Leo the very next day. Leo would always listen with good intent only encouraging him to come back with more news, always leaving Harvey with his message “You never know unless you see it!” Although Harvey was not discovering anything new, it was new to Harvey and that is all that mattered at the time. He had only seen it in books until now. Leo became Harvey’s closest friend.
It became hard for him to have close friends around this age because he was always off in his own universe. His former friends were now throwing baseballs and jumping fences( ). Although he still saw them at school he was still always in his own world. His father, distant yet well adjusted(description( did not support his decision as his father felt he needed to learn the way of the farm. Although Randy had exceptional grades and test scores for his age, his father’s values did not sit well with the idea of his pursuing an education. His father had always meant well but he was set in his stubborn ways and would eventually support him. So Harvey kept things quiet and Leo became the one person he could rely on. His passion ran so deep that he was willing to live a discrete life without friends or family recognition. Harvey’s mother, attentive yet calm(description) secretly knew what he was up to but thought of it as a necessary escape for a child. Every once in a while when she knew what Harvey had come back from doing she would smile slightly with the warmest heart felt touch.
Eventually, he could not settle for living as though it was the only place he would be for the rest of his life. He thought if the creation above him exists then he wanted to know everything about it. What is it? At first it started with the imagination of a child but as he grew to learn more and more he realized that his imagination was not far from the truth. It wasn’t only the curiosity that was soothed through his time star gazing, but the feeling it gave him. Most people get the feeling of being so small in such a large spectrum, but not Harvey. He felt more alive and hopeful looking up than he would ever feel in his entire life. It was the feeling he felt and the knowing that he had to answer his questions that kept his moving forward with each unanswered question. Even so he knew what it was like to have ideas rejected because they seemed so ridiculous to the minds that create our science books. He considered that maybe that may be playing a part in his unease tonight. He was going up there to prove something to everyone who had ever said his ideas were absurd out of fear of being rejected by the scientific community. Randy was not afraid of rejection, he was afraid of the truth being rejected. He learned a long time ago after numerous failed attempts to suggest possible theories to keep them quiet. Ultimately he knew he would not be taken seriously if he did not admit fault and pretend to forfeit his ideas. He saved them all up to only add significant detail to each and prove the theory to be stronger and stronger. Not surprisingly, he was saving his most shocking idea for this mission. His one chance to finally put them all to the test was approaching and he was only filled with ecstasy, yet there was one subtle question lurking and making its way to his thoughts fast.
He spent many nights on that very same porch searching for answers but tonight he was not getting the answer he wanted. He may be doubting himself which he had every reason to. Other men have gone before him but not to his specific destination. A place only thought of as an afterthought until recently. Although his research appeared to be flawless and logical there was always that chance that everything may not be what it seems after all. He always kept this in mind and nevertheless, he needed to base his findings on the reality in which he was given. What if he got up there and everything he ever knew ceased to be true? What if different rules applied up there? What if everything he or anyone ever discovered down here on earth was abandoned as illusions in space? These questions lingered as he tried to quiet his mind. He needed all the mental capability he could muster right now. He realized it would only get him in trouble as it had done so many times in the past with his peers and professors. So he put those questions to rest as he realized his night was coming to an end. Tomorrow he would become someone different but stay the same. He longed for this moment but as the moment came is as fast as it went. Tired from letting his imagination run rampant as if he was that little boy again starring out into space as he had on that very same porch, he realized how far he had come. As he closed his eyes alongside a deep breathe, he saw earth from afar as if sitting on the moon instead of his porch, while his vision remained intact he only had to readjust his eyesight a couple times before coming to terms with the realization that he was in space, as if waking up early in the morning, and that was enough for Harvey and he was put at ease.
(Copyright Kerrious 2014 with all rights reserved). written in 2012.