Our astronaut sat in his little tin can, hurtling through space at a million miles a second, never to look back again. His mind began to wander, as minds do when they are stripped from all that once defined them as a human and as a man. They say that behind every great man is a great woman, but no variations have yet made it into such limelight as their most famous iteration. For it is also true that behind every meager man there is an extraordinary woman. What mysteries might lie behind the twinkling clouds of star-making cosmic dust, what wonders must lie beyond the next supernova or black hole? However, mysteries and wonders alike, it seems, cannot quell an aching heart, and how his heart did ache. Not for the loving embrace of an extraordinary woman, but that he might know what such an embrace ever felt like. For he was a wicked man, with no woman. And as the loneliness and solitude of the great black final frontier pressed in on him, he mourned for his own self-pity. What good was it to be sorrowful of loneliness when there was no possible alternative in his little tin can? And so our astronaut soared, on and on, until the beginning and end of eternity. Until the last star burned out, and until a new one took it's place. Entire universes were born and extinguished before his eyes; his dejected pair of eyes that looked out the spacecraft window, and saw all of creation, just past the dim reflection of two apertures into a soul blackened by the ultimate darkness. Whether that darkness was outer space, or the lack of a hand to hold, he pondered until the end of days, when he was finally allowed to go on, into a greater existence. A state of being beyond his own, such that he could look out over the entire universe, and indeed all universes, as if they were no more the size of his hand. He passed into a brilliant white light, and the darkness around and within him was driven out ferociously and magnificently. Our astronaut crossed over from the penultimate plane of existence, the second to last stage to the last, in a three step spiritual affair: Life, Afterlife, and Beyond. He briefly considered the possibility of death as a stage of the methodology, but knew that death was but an instant, whereas Life was for years, Afterlife was for eternity, and Beyond transcended the comprehension of time itself. Birth, Death, and Perception are only the transistors between each plane, and he had made his last transition. Our astronaut stepped up to the hatch of his craft. He stepped out of the capsule, and placed one boot on the ground of beautiful uncertainty.
And, at long last, and against all odds, he embraced his meaningful solitude.