I rarely watch the news, but colleagues from work pestered me into doing so today; some big event out there in the space around our little blue marble. I usually try to avoid any subject having to do with space. The openness of it, the mysteries hidden within it, it reminds me of deep, murky water. The imagination tends to run down a nightmarish path when looking at either. Why is that? Something embedded in our brains from a past life? I do wonder why we fear the unknown, but that’s enough pondering for now.
So, because they so insisted, I checked in on what all the hubbub was about and, according to everyone, all the news stations, Pluto is gone; vanished from sight. If you were to look in its direction with even the most top-of-the-line telescope, you’d see nothing. As if it never existed, and, because I’m me, I laughed it off because Pluto’s been disregarded as a planet anyway. I figured it was just the universe’s way of finally tossing it away.
The following day I was less amused. Around the same time as yesterday, Neptune disappeared. I’m not terribly into all that stuff up there, for reasons already stated, but I decided to do a little research. Bare minimum, mind you; I just wanted to see the difference in each planet’s size, and their place in line from the sun. Forgive me, I had several classes on space and all I remember is the title of that Lithgow show. We’re the third! Oh good, I can still make light of the situation; I haven’t gone crazy just yet. Not like some of these newscasters anyway.
Something is definitely happening, and I’m starting to feel how those previously mentioned news folk are acting: scared. Some are even wearing literal tinfoil hats on-air. So, yeah, if you haven’t guessed, the butt of the joke of our solar system … has disappeared. Uranus, deleted. I don’t really feel like making jokes anymore.
Two more days passed, and two more planets gone. Saturn, then Jupiter. The latter, because of the sheer size of it, some claimed its “disappearing act” was slower, and thus more visible. Like the closing of an eye around it. There’s chaos in the streets, all over the world. So many are shouting from their soapboxes, “it’s the end of days”. Maybe it is. I’m trying to remain positive, telling myself it’s a black hole, and the planets are simply being teleported to another solar system. That is what black holes do, right? In this moment, I think I’ll remain ignorant. It’s bliss after all.
I saw it. I couldn’t look away from the clock until it was that time, then I looked up to Mars from my newly stolen telescope, and, just like that, darkness in a blink. I thought I saw teeth. That can’t be right though; just that silly imagination of mine at work yet again. We’re down to one station now, the last beacon for new information. They say the rover we had over there captured and sent some pictures before it left with the planet. I stared at those televised pictures for hours. At a glance, it was just darkness, but the more I stared at it the more I could see arms, thousands, maybe millions of them reaching for that little rover. Maybe I have gone crazy. Maybe, but at the same time I feel somewhat at peace. I think I’ll spend some time looking out there, into that former fear of mine. There’s so many less stars in the sky tonight.