Eighteen

I dreamed that at the end of my days I decided to migrate. I sold all my possessions, bade farewell to my closest family and friends - the few still alive. I spent all my money for a one-way ticket, traveling three days at great distance to Earth’s satellite - the moon, a desolate, unliveable place. Men gave up building lunar settlement after they’ve discovered another earth-like planet in space. Upon reaching my destination - the eighth moon landing since 1972, and the last descending given the fact that Fire Serpent, the Moon's Expedition Agency ceases further flights. Nobody wants to come here, the exosphere has no air but I don’t care, I don’t come here to breathe. I’ll live as long as my spacesuit takes me. I long to see for myself that Cha’ngo, the Chinese moon goddess lives here, escaping the heroic archer HouYi, who became a tyrant after shooting down earth’s nine suns. There is also a rumour that the little prince left his asteroid, wandering the planets just to make his beloved rose miss him, counting her petals “he loves me, he loves me not”. But soon he realizes his heart is also broken. Isn't that him sitting behind that piece of fractured bedrock sobbing? As I walked down the ladder from the lunar module in my big boots I felt the moon’s gravity pushing. I took my first moonwalk steps cautiously, then started to hop and stretch my arms like wings. I flew as easily as I fell. There have been twelve astronauts walking on the moon’s surface before me, and I would be the thirteen and the last human to leave bootprints on the charcoal-grey, powdery dust surface. The Apollo landing sites looked like a toss zone, objects were scattered everywhere. Seismometers, retroreflector mirrors, a few empty flagpoles, three rovers, science experiments leftovers, simple tools like scoops and tongs, backpacks, boots and food pouches, a golf ball partly buried beneath moon dust, the picture containing faded white ghosts of a family in plastic sleeve, a small gold olive branch, a silicon disc the size of a 50-cent coin containing “goodwill messages” from leaders of 73 countries; and oh, a telescope, plus a dozen Hasselblad cameras. Surveying numerous disorderly footprints on the moon’s surface I suddenly felt I had never been so alone. A sharp panic grew as I became aware of my heartbeat. I was afraid of still being alive. In magnificent desolation and silence I sat at the Sea of Tranquility for a day and night, looking at earth from morning to dusk, marvelling at the multitudinous lights spreading thick and thin in the seven continents. Then, awash with full sunlight I saw a mistily white, blue and brown globe spinning languidly, so crystalline and majestic, its entirety I could never see while living on it. I sighed, a thin layer of vapour developed inside my helmet, blurring evermore my already tearful eyes.