Tuesday, March 23, 2010


iPhone - 483 words
Sarah Van Name

I guess I’m glad that Apple got the tourism contract. The iPhone seems like a pretty useful device, and they were savvy enough to release a circular version that fit better in our hands. The new version, for the tourism contract, has all these features that my Earth penpal, Flora, says are new, like the ability to call to and from orbit and this speech translator if we want to go somewhere where people don’t speak English. My friend and I only know how to speak English.

I watched the demo on how to use it, and I should be always connected to the orbit and everything. There’s nothing to worry about. I know that. But all the same, I’m afraid to go to Earth.

I keep seeing demos on all the amazing things on Earth, but no one except me seems to understand how terrifying they are. The oceans are infinitely deep, I’ve heard the darkness at the bottom of them is more profound than the black of space outside the window, I’ve seen pictures of water creatures with wings eight times the width of me and what if I fall in? The sun, the idea that it can burn you there. That it can leave a permanent mark or make the surface of you peel off in strips. And gravity! The idea of being so pinned down, strapped in, unable to lift yourself above any surface. I couldn’t deal with that.

I’m told that it’s worth it for apples, breezes, the curiosity of human eyes, snow flurries, stained glass, cherry blossoms, dogs, music concerts, the taste of drinking water, bonfires, fountains, and birthday cake. The iPhone demo showed me all of these things. But I don’t know.

I’m going with my best friend, and we’re meeting Flora someplace called – let me look it up again – Louisiana, and then moving on. My friend really wants to see the tigers, but I’ve heard about how thin the bars are. More than anything I think I want to see a swimming pool. I’ve watched that demo a hundred times. The way the sunlight makes veins in the water...it’s shallow, too, so I don’t think I could get hurt.

I guess talking about it now I’m a little excited. I got my iPhone yesterday and Flora keeps sending me messages on it that she’s jealous that I got the new model. She can’t talk to her friends in orbit on hers right now. But Apple just got the contract and only now released these, and of course I got some of the first batch out because I’m about to leave and I really need it. I think I’m a part of the first formalized tourist experience, but there were people who went before. Representatives and ambassadors obviously, and then stowaways. I knew one. He was this daring dreamy kid who really wanted to taste molasses.

Moth's Wings - Passion Pit

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