The Kings of Convenience sang:
Every day there’s a boy in the mirror
What are you doing here?
Finding all my previous motives
Growing increasingly unclear.
Day 1. I step out of a spaceship onto Planet 52. What a place to be! So many others chose to stay behind on that other planet. Do they realize what they’re missing? Aliens greet me. They’ve been expecting me. It feels wonderful! And the force of gravity is less: feeling lighter and taller even!
Day 15. I am struggling to learn the Alien language: sadkjfldlksa4321192143!3###4432@;). I can hardly pronounce it, but it kind of sounds like the name “Steve.” !#$@@@*$#fdsfds3200d2 insists that’s not the correct way to say it. But I can speak a few words, and there’s always the Transverse Communicator. I used it to talk to an old friend on Earth last week. Other than that, I’ve been watching Dances with Wolves at night as I record my experiences about this strange planet.
Day 30. The Aliens have taken me to their Leader. So many antennae, I have no idea what to make of it. I bow before the Eminency, the title of the Leader here. I have difficulty speaking their language, but I make the effort. The Eminency is magnanimous. I smile. I rush back to the Transverse Communicator to tell the tale of this experience, but the message doesn’t go through.
Day 45. The Communicator broke today, and I lost contact with everyone. It had been on the fritz for a while. Will I ever go Home? Or will I have to make this my home? Ah, the existential crises of an astronaut!
Day 60. They have been trying to teach me their way for 10 moons now. Their planet has five! It’s so foreign, and I am the foreigner. I am still in culture shock. I miss speaking my old language, my old friends. But I am starting to fit in better. And there may be a way to teach my language to the Aliens. They haven’t showed interest, but maybe that’s my own timidity. And perhaps better than all this, I got the Communicator partially working again.
The journeys in life can be exhilarating, frustrating, baffling, isolating, and depressing, but like traveling to a low-gravity planet, they all present opportunities to grow. And no matter where life takes a person, there’s always the dream of going Home one day.