Author: Shannon O’Connor
I wait in line to get on the space shuttle, ready to leave Earth. I carry a bag with my belongings I think I might need. I didn’t know what to pack; I tried to only bring essentials.
My kind are being sent away, since we are no longer needed. We are the ones who don’t have implants in our brains, whose bodies are pure, and aren’t as fast as everyone else on this planet. It’s not that I couldn’t afford an implant, I could, especially when they became widely available.
I used to like my unsteady mind. I enjoyed being with my own thoughts; I didn’t want to disturb that. But the silence can be deafening, and lonely after so many years. Almost everyone has a busy brain to keep them entertained, but I prefer my own company.
Until I got the notice that I was to be shipped off planet.
All of us pure-brained humans were being sent to the closest star, Alpha Centauri, so we wouldn’t disturb the genesis of our compatriots. I look forward to getting away from all the lunatics with loud heads, with like-minded people, who could think for themselves.
When I was young, I went insane, and it left me scarred. I had the capacity to imagine anything, but that isn’t useful in today’s world. The people above want winners, and people willing to fight for their place, not dreamers who look to the clouds, and think the world is too chaotic for ordinary consumption.
Here I am in the long queue, with other strange ones, ready to be sent away. I want to talk to these people, but I don’t know what to say to them. They look as scared as I feel, and my stomach is strawberry licorice, rolled tight, jumbled together. I don’t think I’ll ever feel right again.
I get on my seat on the ship, holding my bag close to my chest. We didn’t get any training to go to space, we’re simply being sent away. The roar of the engines explodes in my ears. I don’t want to look, but out the window, our planet is flipping us off, saying good riddance.
“Nothing matters, and if it ever did, it doesn’t now,” my neighbor says.
I nod. There’s nothing more to say.
I close my eyes and fall asleep. We have a long ride.
I dream of blue beaches, and hopeless rainbows. When I wake up, I am still sitting in the same chair, clutching my bag.
I open my bag. I want to see what I remembered to bring. I have my computer, my phone, chargers, some underwear, and socks, two shirts. I look to see if I brought my notebook that I wrote when I was sixteen, when I was going insane, my thoughts constellations. I poke through my bag, but it isn’t there.
Can I live without my burgeoning ideas that helped me through dark years? I will be on another planet, with no memories to look at, only ones I remember. Will I be able to write what I did before, when I was on the verge of insanity, ready to take on the world?
Will I be ready for another world?
Will this planet welcome us pure-brained beings, with only our meager thoughts and imaginations to protect and guide us?
I’m not sure what will happen, but I am ready to live this unadulterated, unfiltered, untouched life on a distant planet and start again.