We were sent on a mission to restore life on Mars. That’s all I can remember now. My previous life is now only a vague half memory seeping constantly away.
I have been orbiting Earth for three hundred years. Life support systems are still operational. The radio transmitter is still out of my reach. My escape pod trajectory is still in orbit.
Something went wrong. We had just left the atmosphere and there was an explosion on the ship. One of my team mates must have put me in here. He must have thought he was saving my life, giving me another chance, being a good friend, doing the right thing. But it didn’t turn out that way.
I spend my days… nights? Looking out my small window. I can see the world I came from, I pretend I can see people down there looking up at me and wondering “What’s that?”. I can see the star that gave me life and I can see the infinte black void of the universe. It reminds me of my predicament. My dark timeless predicament.
Sometimes I pretend I’m mad, I talk to myself and other people in my mind, I laugh at their jokes and cry when they die. We walk through forests and drink at bars. But at the end of each day I know. I know that it’s all a lie and that I’m still sane. I’m still trapped, I’m still forgotten. Madness has never looked so delicious.
I have spent lifetimes trying to free myself. If I could just reach the transmitter I’d say “Help me”, and they would answer in surprise. They would come to me and take me out of this hell. They would take me down and give me a prize, there would be a huge celebration and it would be on TV. I’d become famous for a while and the I’d be forgotten. I’d walk the streets again, I’d swim in the oceans once more. I’d find a charming woman and we’d get married in a hot air balloon. We’d have two children and become old together. And then I’d die a peaceful death. A good death.
But I can’t. It’s too far, six inches too far.
I’ll never go back down there. To that mesmerizing blue sphere. I’ll never see anyone again, I’ll never feel the wind, I’ll never touch the grass, I’ll never taste another succulent fruit from another lushing tree and I’ll die an eternal death.