Things are Not Going Well

April 15, 2011
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There is the constant chatter of radios and a deep pressure pounding on my ears. The damp air reeks of aniseptic and tastes like burnt silicon. My breath condensates on my visor, obscuring the world around me in a blurry sense of inconfidence and doubt. The countdown initiates. 10. 9. 8. Everything is painfully bright, from the fluorescent lights to the sunlight raditaing into the cockpit. 7. 6. 5. There is a low rumbling, chattering my teeth and shaking me to my core. 4. 3. 2. I feel a shift in movement. The ship slowly begins to rise. Everything sounds like the rumbling. 1. Liftoff.
Gravity. It feels as if I am underwater with thousand pound weights. Someone else is violently trying to pull me out of the water. I can feel myself rising up however, somewhere in my stomach I can feel myself racing upwards. The cockpit gets colder as I elevate. Gradually, the rumbling ceases to an eerie silence. I recieve a radio call from ground control, I answer it just to hear the sound of my own voice. It is terribly lonely, despite being only in orbit for a few of minutes. There is nothing to see outside the window but the cold emptiness of space, nothing to hear but the whirs and clicks of machinery. Things are not going well in my mental game, but as the craft begins to rotate I gather a view of Earth.There is nothing I can say to tell you the way I feel, no way to convey the beauty of the moment. Earth is a blue-green marble, glazed with clouds, floating in an infinite void of emptiness. My fear is replaced by a feeling of well-being. Until something crashes into the window. Everything is a sudden commotion, everything is very cold, everything is very loud. I do not know what will become of me and the U.S.S. Monitor. Things are not going well at all.





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