I thought I’d do something different today and write some spontaneous flash (ish) fiction. Don’t bet on the quality…
Man on the Orpheus
I am the man on Orpheus. I will never return home. Things happened, you see. I am a pawn to this mission, a bacteria in the grand scheme of all things. On this ship I am alone – more alone than I ever have been.
I am at fault. Whenever I do things, I always seem to be at fault.
My name is Hubert. I am – was – First Engineer on the Orpheus. A huge generation ship commissioned by the Assembly of Expansion to scout the Outer Worlds for habitable, life rich planets. Essentially anywhere where the development of humans can proceed unhindered.
I was not forced. This I agreed to. My old life was a torment, one I needed to escape.
So, I sit here writing my diary, before sleep. Sometimes I try to imagine the faces of the people I knew, the faces of other human beings. I try to sketch them onto the paper, false lines creating false faces that loosely resemble those I loved. Occasionaly I stare and fixate on them for days as my mind icessantly attempts to animate the shapes and features. It is a fruitless game, I know. But at times, it seems so necessary.
Sanity is always on my mind. Its enemy is an itch that tickles the corners of my eyes, pricks at the most distant of my hearing. Alone on this ship of immutable size, it does things, inevitably changing a person. It makes you question if you are still a person at all, and if not, then what?
I am here beause of my own stupidity, the clumsiness of my own will, my own reckless naivety. Because, at the time, I wanted to stay, I wanted to be all alone in this hellish cocoon that will endlessely float through space. Hindsight, it is a bitch. A bitch that ruined all the tiny specks of life I had left. It was a spontaneous, split moment decision that sprung from the deep wells of the mind. The wells that have no bottom, no structure, much like the empty space the Orpheus drifts through.
Looking back, I see an endless list of poor judgements. A fractured life without a hold on any one thing, much less myself. Now I pay the price for these painful moments. I will always pay the price, because I have no options. Eventually the Orpheus will become my grave, and there is nothing I can do about it.
This powerlessness hits me the hardest.
I dream of a normal life. Seeing to the engines of a small cruise ship, attending low-key parties with people dressed in cheap tuxedos, drinking half-decent cocktails in the simulated evening light.
I can never have this. All I have is self-blame and repugnance in that apocalyptic gesture of clumsiness.