Space Chronicles, I

There is comfort in the old post office

“I turned the page of stamps over and around my fingers, letting the crisp undulated edges poke at my skin. I wanted to grab the postman and demand more of the written letters.

This shows as a burrowed forehead that I disguise as artistic expression, tilting my head lightly to accompany the softening of the music; my fingers release the piano keys. As Mrs. Bettencourt approaches to ask for another of her poignant ballads, I resume the song that brought the earlier scene at the post office to my memory incessantly since it happened hours ago.

Old Mrs. Bettencourt looked like a ghost, an apparition, her skin so pale and white against the heavy emeralds around her neck it was like an illusion, the way most old ladies look. Her arrogance grabbed me as her hands grabbed my shoulder and she crackled, in her old voice, about how magical it’d be if I could just play her Total Eclipse of the Heart, which reminded her of her youth. I cringed as I faked a smile – this woman was an apocryphal story of the intended residents of the first Moon base, as close to your typical person as the wife of a billionaire can be.

The piano lounge at the center of the giant cruise ship plopped down into a piece of sad rock looked extra polished tonight, I noticed from the stage.

As she’s beguiled by my music yet another time, her fingers slip another $20 in my pocket, and I catch myself drifting outside as I imagine that bill floating in the much smaller gravity. My mind floats down along with it to Earth where my love stayed, where she probably looks at the night sky and thinks “that bastard, that haunted musician with the words of a cheap poet”. I revert back to the letters, her letters I found hidden in my suitcase in the pocket of a vest, and I stroke the keys gently as sadness consumes me and makes me feel satisfied again.

I would like to create an actual post office here, I thought to myself as I played the piano. Not a screen but a room. The possibilities of getting a lost letter from an old love; the old message in a bottle, the primitive disconnected thrill of yesteryear.

I played a slow, romantic melody, then.

The postman is a hologram, but the letter is real.”

This stuff will make much more sense if you’re also listening to Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino 😄

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