The Librarian's Revenge ©

The Librarian's Revenge ©

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Long Walk in Space

Leif AhnlandPosted by Leif Ahnland 27 Apr, 2009 08:23PM
This is something I wrote when taking a creative writing course three years ago. I was pretty happy with it then but am not sure how good it is. It is alway tricky judging your own work. Anyway, I got jealous now that everyone is writing so great stuff and it said zero next to my name so I figured I had to post something too. I'd very much appreciate comments on it. Some of the things you might think strange were intentionally strange. But if you see something, give us a shout.

Long walk, two men and one baby boy.

I met a little prince today. “The boy is dressed like an astronaut in a dark blue, tight sweater, and a dark blue, tight cap. He looks an astronaut and he behaves like one; serious, curious and concentrated, at work. A ten month old astronaut, exploring space and this new planet, rolling around in his small spaceship.”

Extraordinarily enough he doesn’t seem to need any breathing equipment or other protective space-gear; all he wears is his in-ship suit, even though this new world is obviously hostile.

He’s got the tell-tale blue eyes all the space-babies have, a blue intensified by all the space-baby-diet supplementary nutritients. For example, the ones born in space need almost twice the calcium earthborn do. They need three times the iron, double rations of carbohydrates; you name it, they need it, only much more than you did. Then we have the emotional aspects of being thrusted from the womb, not only to a colder and louder place but so much darker too, in every way. Let’s not go there tonight, I don’t think I understand it well enough to explain.

Who the father is? One of the frontier legends. The work he has done cannot be underestimated. He is, to most of us, the first of the vanguards recon-platoon. A battalion all by himself. An endless source of inspiration. Always one step ahead, immediately considering the new situation derived from analysis of the last answer, that being the answer to the question the rest of us is racking our brains to even begin to formulate. Source of frustration as well. Pleas for help or advice are usally met by a smiling silence. This is not him being a guarded or distrustful person. He knows all of us, him included, would be better off if we could all work at the same level. But it is either the way he puts it:

"I’m sorry my dear but you would not understand. Yet."

or, which is what I say, that:

"He doesn’t understand it yet."

Having known him for nine years now, almost to the day, I believe I can say this with some authority. Let me explain. It was august, 1997. We were all at the preparatory school, beautifully located 50m from the islands western shore. We went for a swim every lunchbreak until the end of september that year. One of the first things he said to me was this:

"We have a seal in our midst! A beautiful fat seal up and down in the water."

I know it sounds a bit silly today but back then I remember being so proud that someone like him would say anything at all about me. I think almost everyone knew instinctively that he was special. And as soon as we got to see his early work we didn’t have to doubt at all. We got the He-is-the-One feeling.

He went on to the Academy of course, first in London and then back here for the final two years. I chose another path, the path of the ambiguous and the doubtful. I was never one for the A-team. But we kept in touch and now, working with him like this, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

He doesn’t understand yet. What I mean? That beautiful brain of his knows, his sensitive gut screams YES! and that heart of gold that he wears like an incapsulated amulet, beats a steady du-dum of confirmation. His whole system turns into an ocean of certitude. There is no doubt, the sheet where he scribbles his notes in a private and encrypted short-hand looks a runway to him, flight-control just gave him the go ahead, the air is clear and nothing will stop him now. This state of bliss will not last of course, somewhere he knows this even as he flies in his shaft of light. And at the same time as he looks at his work and he sees that it is good, at the same time he cannot make it coherent, not for one second, not to us. And not to himself either.

How do I know this feeling? Because once, I too was in love.