Tuesday, April 7, 2015

EL RANCHO TEXACO - MARS...the early days

Sun looks white from space. Not too much color. They say it is a yellow star, but I didn't see it.... just a throbbing, hot light. You can see a little bit of the corona, like a haze dancin' all around it. Folks was sayin' - Don't look! Turn your eyes away from that thing. Don't you know it's bad luck?..... I say - This here special glass (or whatever it is). You can look. .... But they don't look. Fella says - You judgin' God's handiwork. You laughin' at the heavens.... I say - No, I am not. I'm laughin' at you..... Fella's wife says - Why you God damned son of a bitch! You gone burn in hell..... I just shrug. Fella want a punch me, but security guard (they like space ship police) give him a look. Ain't no hittin' allowed on a space ship. Think it say so in the Bible.  Wife pulls him away. Says - Come on. They givin' out cheese and crackers. Don't you want none?..... Guess he really crave them cheese and crackers, 'cause don't fight her none. He just goes away. 

I like watchin' space. Used to have a little telescope. Not real little. It did have a tripod and all. Looked at God's heavens most every night.  Can see a lot from New Mexico. I tell folks I'm from Texas, 'cause for some reason, that place got a thing in people's heads. Maybe cause it once a whole country and got The Alamo and all? Davy Crockett got mos' all his head blown off by a Mexican mini-ball there. I seen the blood stains. Don't know if it his, but still a good story.

If I ain't said so yet, I am John... John Texaco. Folks call me 'Johnny.' That ain't so hard to remember. Who are you and why am I sayin' all this stuff in my head? But I feel like there's somebody out there (in there?). Some folks go 'space crazy' from conditions on board... the canned air and weird spinning gravity and all. Maybe I'm one a them?

We saw a body float by the other day... some guy in a full, pressurized suit. Crew said he was from the U.S.S. Pilgrim. Everybody knows about the Pilgrim. Picked up some microbe from God knows where. Some germs can withstand space. We know that now. At least for the last few years we have. Folks grabbed their devices and took pictures, videos. Posted 'em too. For a second or two he bounced right against the window... not hard... real soft. They said he got trapped in our wake. Even at one hundred and thirty five thousand miles per hour that can happen. I saw his face... all dried and screwed up like a terrified mummy... little bit a freeze-dried snot hangin' on his upper lip. Then he was gone, tumbling off into the void.

The crossing takes two weeks. Mars is close now, so we can do that. The 'short jump' they call it. But planets are islands that float around like them huge mats of seaweed out on the Sargasso Sea. We took The National Geographic when I was a kid. That's how I know. Sometimes when Mars is clear on the other side of the sun it takes much longer. But I don't know about that. This is my first time. The Moon hop to meet the ship was enough for me.

Lost In The Stars... I hear that song in my head. That's what I am... a little bit... for a while anyway. Got big dreams for that planet. Figure twenty eight's time enough. 

God I miss New Mexico...

<you just met Johnny Texaco, first in the family to reach Mars>


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