'Night, night, night, night and stars above that shine so bright
The mystery of their fading light
That shines upon our caravan.'
- Duke Ellington -
I remember the first time I met her. 1967. Edwards Air Force Base. It was a sunny day. I heard the soldiers' loud voice cheering themselves on. The winds came from the Mojave Desert tickled my cheek. She was tall and has long, curly blonde hair. She looked like a little boy. She came to the salute and I retuned her salute. We moved to somewhere we had never been to. On the second floor of the brick building, there was a room at the end of the passage. We met a big shot who had one or two (maybe three?) stars on his hat. We both stood to attention and saluted to him about the same time. At that moment, I first realized the she was my partner.
From that day on, we have met innumerable numbers of stars; how many stars were on the generals’ hat? it felt like ridiculous question. Two? Three? If he had five, would it matter to us? There were zillions of stars out there. Why we worry about three, four, or five? If we reached out for the stars, we would get a handful of them. Linda loved stars because they are always shinning and glittering; she doesn’t like them for now. I loved stars, too; it is a goddam frightening sight for now. We’re bored! It’s quite natural since this endless mission has been continued for ten years. Until now, we haven’t seen anything except stars: countless star groups repeating ad infinitum. (What a goddam sight!) Yes. We’re totally bored and have serious skepticism with regards to the mission.
The mission. The wonderful, tremendous, and fantastic mission. If we had understood it correctly, our goal is to reach the Moon. And if we had not been mistaken, we would have landed the Moon long time ago: 9 years, 11 months, plus 27 days ago. Then, we might go back to the Earth, where all of my family and friends live. However, our boomerang hasn’t found a turning point; still, marching to nowhere. The communication with Arlington spacecraft control center had been lost long ago. We gave up all hope to return home. We don’t remember what the mission was. It might be written somewhere: manual, mission log, diary, whatever. However, I don’t want do that. That's too much of a hassle, and we can't afford to do that.
(To be continued)