As a kid, I couldn’t imagine a cooler job than being an astronaut. You’re paid to be shot into space. Space. How cool is that? I still think about what it’d be like looking down at the earth from the moon or the space station windows. Watching the sun break over the edge of our planet. It was all I wanted, until I realized that I didn’t want to die a horrible death in space thousands of miles away from everyone I loved.
But still I hold onto this childish dream, the dream of touching stars. He sits on a thin golden chain around my neck, my astronaut, to remind me of my goals. His dented body is ambiguous under a space suit so that he might really be a she. He has no features, no eyes, and no nose. I do not know the color of his skin or the color of his hair. But he’s always there, swinging back and forth around my neck.
He hangs there, waiting out the good and the bad. He’s there for every passed class, every failed test. He’s there for secret whispers, for the quiet times in between. He’s there for every concert, every blasted ear drum, every time my own tune flows. My astronaut; the silent watcher, the lone protector. Protecting my mind and body from alien threats that may harm me, or instigating first contact that leads to the betterment of my being.
My golden astronaut, reflecting the lights of the stage and of the stars. Reflecting the lights back onto me to remind me that even I, on earth, can reach and touch the stars.
Colette is an artist of words and of melodies based in Burke, VA.