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by Sacha Wamsteker


“Mmm… boarding, I guess. Thought you told me the ascent wasn’t until half past. Well, I only wanted to wish you a good flight. Yes, again. Anyway, send me that brainapp the instant you touchdown, okay? Need to know you’re safely back on terrestrial soil. I know, I know, you told me tons of times: Space travel is super ultra-safe. Safer even than planes. At least this time you’re not off to Europa. I hate it when you go there. Four-hundred-million miles through a forbidding vacuum that will rip your guts out if it gets the chance, only to land on that frigid piece of erupting moon. So desolate and far away. Thank God it’s just a quick stop at the Peary Crater this time. Practically our backyard, though I’ve never been. I promise to come with you on the next lunar trip, even though I’ll probably be puking the entire five hours. Maybe I’ll try those Lunarzz tablets. Problem is they knock you out, so then I’ll miss the whole thing. But first, you return to me, yay!”  

“We made a big cake yesterday, the kids were fighting over who gets to slaughter it when you’re here, to celebrate your return. Yes, you’ve only been gone six days, blink twice and it’s over, but you know how it is. As for me, can’t wait for you to do the honors of performing the bedtime stories. You can probably guess, I’m behind in the laundry department. Every time you leave, I realize you’re right. It’s your thing. You’re the laundry-man, or as you so self-deprecatingly say, the ‘little washer woman.’ But you do it so well. Forgive me for the mountain of sports outfits waiting for you to detox them…. Single parenthood, lord, and to think some people deliberately choose it. We are such an awesome team. Correction: you are, couldn’t do all this without you, and I tag along like a dazed little puppy. So yeah…I should go. Try to get some reporting done…” 

“I was thinking it’ll be sweet to have some us-time after you’ve descended to more or less sea level. Show you our new health-monitoring tencel bedspread, make a hut out of it. Ha! Kids think they have the monopoly on hut-building, but guess what? And… we can play grown-up games inside it, and they can’t, so there… na-na na-na na-na… They’ll be back soon enough to haunt us, the little critters. Buz said, “Daddy fly rocket.” He thinks you’re the commander. I thought that’s cute, and telling. He already knows how needed and multi-skilled you are. Then again, you like doing. You’re the doer and I’m the thinker, that’s just the way it is. And no, that’s not an excuse to make you take care of the chores. Thinking is really all I do. But you do realize I’m bursting with gratitude, don’t you? Did I ever tell you that? Well, I am. So I can focus on my career, or whatever it is I proclaim to be my lofty life purpose. Of course, me relinquishing the household most of the time is nothing short of self-preservation; things would turn into existential chaos if I were to meddle too much. I’d probably go mental, dragging you with me! Gotta go now, time’s racing like a runaway shuttle. Remember (I know you will): Call me as soon as you land. Or brainapp, anything. Be online! Love you forever until the roads never ends, yours truly, your forever Jo.” 

Please purchase a copy of Delirium Corridor, to read the rest of "Offline"

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