I awake, wrapped with my Macbethian embroidered blanket,
ready to tackle another pointless morning. The parakeets downstairs, formally
known as my roommates, sing the melodies of the weather and stock market. Under
my sheets, where I decide to spend this beautiful morning, I faintly overhear
my faucet trying to maintain a rhythm. Slowly, like always, he gets offbeat and
fades into a silence of embarrassment. That is why I never try things. The
parakeets fly towards the flock, leaving me alone once again. I did not decide
to be alone, but I decide to not be lonely. This optimistic disposition rattles
against my nihilistic bones, yet, like always, I settle. Besides, my therapist
reminded me change can be good. That might have been a dream. I have been
residing on Earth for 38 unforgiving years. I rise, cape on my shoulders,
determined to not make it 39.
“Siri, take me to Mars.”
In an unfathomable example of punctuality, my bus arrives in
a matter of seconds. I am notified with an inviting honk. Swiftly, I grab the
essentials: two pairs of underwear, my photo ID, and travel sized shampoo. I
say my final farewells to the fridge because the microwave was mad at me. I
abandon my house keys on the unwelcoming doormat. Outside, the bus driver is
waiting to take my bags. The wormish man’s body, crooked and frail, could snap
at any minute. His face, pointed and gray, frames his two crystal blue eyes;
their gleams perfectly contrasting the iridescently purple pockets beneath
them. As for a uniform, his forest green suit accompanies a candy striped tie,
like a cheesy holiday sidekick.
“Hello, dear sir. I am Sal. Short for Saliva. Nonstop trip to
As the bus driver speaks, his left eyebrow quivers,
anticipating a favorable response. Perhaps too enthusiastically, I step on the
bus. Before I could turn around, Sal interrupts me on his speaker and
immediately locks the front doors.
“ETA of 8:30 p.m. Weather looks promising and bright.
Please stow all carry-ons under your seat. Do not disturb the fellow creatures
on the bus, and please, keep all arms, legs, and tails inside of the vehicle.
Stay seated and fasten your seatbelts…if they fit.”
I take a seat near the front in between an infant and a
robot. I was always taught to not discriminate, but I must admit, I am not very
fond of robots. They are stealing our jobs. The infant, trying to juggle a
phone call and a digital spreadsheet, does not have a second to chat. Suddenly,
I feel a tap on my ankle. There, a struggling college rat offers me a drink. I
want Coke. They only have Pepsi. I accept defeat and settle for orange juice.
Stuck with a middle seat, my only option for entertainment is listening to
fellow passengers. Near the back of the bus, I overhear a queen bee reasoning
to her subjects the necessity of fracking for honey. The worker bees did not
seem to agree. To my left, an old, not-so-wise tortoise promises the entire bus
he has a lot to show under his shell. I stay in my seat, eyes forward,
toes curled, for the entire ride. Right when I begin to fall in love with my
stiff, crippling seat, the bus comes to a screeching halt.
“Thank you for joining us. Again, I’m Sal. Next stop:
Pluto. May she rest in peace.”
The infant pushes her way
through the crowd to make a quick meeting, and the robot starts processing. If
they want to live in our country, they should speak our language! Eventually, I
exit the bus, ready for new experiences. I am standing on a cosmic bubble and I
feel celestial determination. The air is flat but filled with the weight
of popcorn and hesitant adventure. Immediately, I am welcomed with gift shops
and tour buses. I could have my picture taken with Earth in the background.
Instead, I go grocery shopping. Alone. Next, I come home and dive
straight under my sheets. Then, one more time with feeling, I awake.