Zane’s Log- 9/9/2038

People ask if I miss outer space. Most of the time, I can honestly answer, “Not at all.” Every once in awhile though, I look up at the night sky and feel its pull. I’ve flown through the vast reaches of space. I’ve maneuvered through asteroid belts and plotted courses past comets. I’ve seen stars of all kinds, from newborn nebulas to dying dwarfs. The universe is a vast and marvelous place, so yes, I do miss it at times. It isn’t so much that I enjoyed the perils of space flight, the austerities required, and the cramped quarters. Those things I don’t miss in the least. It’s space itself, with her siren call, that I find myself yearning for when life gets mundane. Nothing makes one feel humble and sheer awe as gazing upon her vastness.

“Her?” you might ask. Yes, I think of space as female because it birthed all life. And, my poor wife must sometimes sway my attention from this other ‘woman’.

I’ve known many a wife or husband that came to resent that connection which space held over their spouse. I’m luck. Katarina understands. She gave up a career as a scientist, where she could pursue whatever biological puzzle her data revealed, funding issues aside. For someone of her keen mind, that kept her fulfilled and challenged in a way that I highly doubt settling diplomatic squabbles and hearing horrific criminal cases does.

We both have this dream where she gets to set up her own private laboratory, researching whatever the hell she wants, and we go on periodic space flights to far off destinations. It isn’t a particularly practical dream, but it’s a nice one to hang on to when days are hard.

Sometimes when Katarina notices me feeling the pull of the stars, she sets a blanket outside and we spend half a night under the Milky Way. She points at random and I try to identify and tell her what I know of a system. It isn’t the same, but sometimes I think it’s even better, because I’m sharing it with her.

Unfortunately, my suggestions that she could culture the bacteria the kids leave around the house fails to have the same effect, but at least it makes her laugh.

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