Lost in Space (handmade collage)


Calypso music just may not be my thing. Francine’s insistence that I put on a pair of clam diggers certainly didn’t help. We had gone through a similar thing several months back when she had wanted me to wear gaucho pants to an Argentine Cowboy Night that the Russians had organized. “What is it with you and the mid-calf pants?” I asked. “Oh, stop being such a stick in the mud,” Francine answered. “Sorry, I’m busy.” Exasperated, Francine threw up her hands and started to float toward the sleeping chamber. She looked back toward me. “Why can’t you just get into the spirit of things?” The straw hat she left behind hovered over the console. Could I help it that unlike the French and Russians, I saw my being here as a full-time responsibility? “I don’t remember reading anything about having to do the limbo when I signed on for this mission,” I called out to her. I know the others—and Francine in particular—considered me something of a wet blanket, but I hadn’t expected all of the nightly frivolity. Francine said it helped break the tedium. Her words astounded me. “How can you consider being here tedious? Look outside that window!” Our beautiful blue planet floated out there. “How could you ever grow tired of this view?” Francine turned away. She said, “There is more to life than just science you know.”

I was thinking about her words when she poked her head through the sleeping chamber portal. “If you change your mind, come to the lounge. Claude is bringing a carton of rum and coke pouches. Elena and Ilya have already started the music. And I just heated up a few bags of jerk chicken. It will be fun.” She floated there smiling down at me. I looked up at her and then out the window. She was a good soul. I gave her a smile. “I still have some work to finish. Maybe I’ll join you in a bit.” Francine waved goodbye and pushed off the portal padding. As she drifted out of view, she shouted back toward me, “Don’t make yourself a stranger.”