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Ordeal of a Cosmonaut

September 14, 2015 Leave a comment Go to comments
Nick Del Rio, Space Asshole Correspondent

“Astronaut” Nick Del Rio

The Lankville Daily News is annoyed beyond measure to present a new series by noted “astronaut” Nick Del Rio.

My fascination with space began at a young age. Dad would drop me off at the library. He’d say, “You’ll be spending nine hours here while I go to the offtrack betting place that we don’t tell Mom about. Use it wisely.” I would head right to the science section and devour the great tales of the pioneering astronauts– all of them, Armstrong, Aldrinson, Colbys, Ricer, Hossdoggs, Rance Mullinks, I just couldn’t get enough. To this day, I return to their stories for inspiration.

I have a picture of Rance Mulliniks and Dr. Ernwhitts (who never returned from space) cotside as I orbit a new, unknown orange planet. I am nearly out of reach of man’s primitive signals which is a mixed blessing as someone has given out my cell phone number and I keep getting messages telling me what a liar I am. But I am not deterred. For, out of the portal is my planet.

I don’t yet know what it will be called. I reflect upon this. An email comes in announcing that Dick La Hoyt has been punched in the face again. I am saddened by this news from earth despite the fact that Dick constantly leaves rude messages on my Lankbook page (along with tens of thousands of others). I suppose I should not be so hard on him.

The darkness here is ethereal. It is so delicately refined. The stars are delicate– like a lamb or one of those complicated Easter treats. I am in awe.

As I move closer to the dark side of this strange planet, my measurements confirm that I have only a few minutes longer before transmission with earth is completely aborted. I radio Control. For a long time, I hear only faint murmurings, then something mysterious comes in clearer. It sounds almost like the ambient noise of a party– the ebb and flow of conversation, the sound of cake being passed out, the squeak of balloons skirting the ceiling as if blown by a sudden, fervent wind. Finally, Lowenstein confirms my report.

“Go ahead, Nick,” he says, “Go ahead to the distant side of the planet.” He seems almost as if he is attempting to stifle laughter and the room behind him has grown suddenly quiet.

“Confirm functions,” I state, clearly.

“Oh, yeah, yeah, functions are great,” he says. I begin to wonder what is so funny.

“Confirm fuel intake.”

“Yep. Just great. Keep going there, Nick,” he says. I hear an eruption of laughter from a woman somewhere.

“Confirm atmospheric pressure.”

There is a sudden loud jolt and a series of quiet whisperings.

“Yep. Really, just perfect. Keep going, Nick. Keep going. No need to call back.” Transmission is abruptly ended.

I reflect upon this strange exchange. The light grows dim as I bear witness to a magnificent eclipse. I look back to the earth for the last time.

There is no going back.

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