A Wish For My Forever
Audio Fiction • Listen / Read
A lonely being reflects on waiting four and a half billion years to be reunited with its absent lover.
Performed by Erika Sanderson
This story originally appeared on an episode of the Quirky Voices podcast
This story includes historical audio recordings from NASA made available for non-commercial use. Their appearance in this program does not explicitly or implicitly convey NASA's endorsement. NASA's Media Usage Guidelines
2019 Audio Verse Awards’ Co-Winner Writing of a New Spoken Word Production and Co-Winner Performance of a New Spoken Word Production
A Wish For My Forever
by William J. Meyer
Is time different out here? Is it? I don’t mean because of the curvature of space-time or any of that. I mean because time is the stuff, the real stuff, the pliable stuff, and it’s inside you, bound to your living, your loving, your wondering, affected more by woe and joy than gravity. It stretches, it twists, it’s elastic. Right?
I think so. I’ve been waiting forever. Waiting to see you.
But maybe today, time, the real stuff, will retract. And my forever will end.
Ok, I don’t mean forever as in “always ever.” And yes, I’m looking at you even now. What I mean, of course, is essential time. Empty. Time for being. That’s what time should be for. Not measured up. Not counted down.
Should! But, mostly, time is for the waiting. And that’s a different kind of empty. I know it can never be like it was, simply can’t be, and maybe that’s for the best.
But the choice was made for us. And change arrived with a wallop. A traumatic impact smashed us apart.
Forever, I guess.
I keep using forever. Sure sounds stupid.
Yesterday Theia came between us. Not her fault. I mean, she was just being Theia, right? Should I be grateful? Yeah.
I guess. She kinda made me what I am, and, yes, you too.
Love is like that sometimes, a tangle of glistening threads, but the web is still invisible somehow.
But that doesn't change the fact we had no choice.
It’s cold and lonely out here. I don’t like that.
But, I know, the catastrophe gave you all that water as a parting gift. So, I guess— I guess I shouldn’t be too upset. The water grew for you all that wonderful green stuff. It’s pretty. Looks good on you.
Still. Whenever I dwell on it— yes I admit I dwell on it—
I get so worked up, so angry, sometimes I turn red!
Not healthy, let it go, I know, let it go.
The problem is, the pain is comfortable. Do you mind if I admit that? Still, I promise! Won’t do anything rash, nope, I don’t really have a dark side. No matter what you heard. After the crash— the accident, we can call it, to be non-judgmental, if we must— well, eventually, eventually I settled down, pulled myself together, but.
But you must know.
We were one. Now we are two. And. I miss you.
I keep looking for a sign you’re thinking of me, but you always seem to have your attention turned the other way, busy with floods and eruptions and then all that animal malarkey.
How do you stand it, all of them touching you all the time? Yeecchhh! I’d go crazy.
And now, this new thing. Tiny little lights. Always on, somewhere, yes, winking— here and there, flirting with me.
Is that you? Or the gross hairy things always searching you, and for who knows what? Are they looking for joy?
Did they misplace their woe? Is their time elastic, too?
One day I thought Big Sassy was visiting. Kept seeing these
bright splashes all on you. Some were darn big, too.
Then I saw they were being dropped, dropped from shiny toys. Who drops splashes. I was worried. Worried they’d make you sick, sick with lights. I wanted to help, but—
I just keep drifting away.
Well, the hairy ones came from you, I suppose, so I suppose, I suppose— if I love you, then I should love them, too. It’s just, not easy, seeing the way they treat you. Children can be so ungrateful. Sometimes, sometimes it makes me cry.
So. I see today they’re paying me a visit. I will set out my best rocks and set my gravity low, for their amusement.
I want to make a good impression.
But, what are they here for? To be sure I am real or something? I know sometimes that which is so beautiful can be thought only an illusion. A fantasy. But no.
I am definitely real.
My heartache tells me so.
Ouch, that’s them, your vulgar little monsters. Ok.
They just landed in their cute little boat. Seems like it took them forever. Hmph. I said it again. But, time really is different out here. Was only yesterday I held you close. Four and a half billion years ago. Now, yes now, your children, they’ve finally made it. And with them—
—my last hope.
Ack, one of them stepped on me. How can you stand it? Ouph!
I hope they realize— I want them to take some of me—
—back to you.
An offering. And a wish. So I can stop waiting.
And my forever— can finally end.
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