Interlude – Beam Me Up

Ok. Can’t sleep. I’ve tried reading, switching off all technology, yoga/hippie/spa music, mindfulness (whatever the fuck that is I still can’t figure out), emptying my head… like that ever works. Here I am, awake. Counting the hours till I have to be up to go to Playschool for Crazies again.

I didn’t go today because I felt like crap – I am still hoarse, I was wrecked and feverish and generally physically fed up. Also, I slept through my alarm. And Sweetie(Ex)StepDaughter was still here so I made the girls sausage and bacon sambos instead which is probably as productive as goal setting sessions for me who sets impossibly unrealistic goals for someone of a limited stress capacity which for other people, is banality.

I also didn’t go to the gym. It’s hard to know when you’re sick if your body is trying to tell you to rest or if you should sweat it out of you. I feel now I should have sweat(ed?) it out because then I might be ASLEEP instead of lying here like a fidgety fifty-a-day-smoker coughing up my lungs.

I like Taylor Swift, I’ve decided. I thought she bugged me but actually I like how she lays it all out there in her lyrics. I particularly identify with “Blank Space”.

My mind is on some sort of nerve steroid tonight and flitting from Taylor Swift to those one hundred people heading to Mars in ten years. How very Hollywood blockbustersesque.

What is all that about? For the next ten years they will effectively need to avoid establishing any type of relationship with a non-Mars bound human. Or animal. Actually, there’s a question – are there any animals going? Imagine an animal free planet? Surely some animals are essential. The radio report I heard mentioned plant life being introduced to the pods or whatever they will live in a year before they travel but will certain worms or flitty creatures not be needed to control weeds? Or will they only send up genetically engineered disease resistant plants? Will it be like “Wall-E” with one precious root in a boot? Will there be bees? Aren’t the bees important? Will there be flowers? Say you hook up with someone and decide to do your bit for the colonisation of Mars and there are no flowers to send on Valentine’s Day. Will there be Valentine’s Day? Will there by Christmas? How is Santa meant to fit another planet in on December 24th?

As if we haven’t done enough colonising of our own planet – I’m looking at you, Britain. The Brits shouldn’t be allowed to send anyone up. They’ve had their colonial fun. Or the French, German, Spanish or Dutch. Or the Americans because they, well, they’re American and we all know what happens when you put Americans into space: you get a movie as bad as “Gravity” and Liv Tyler ends up without a daddy. Only Irish people should be sent up but with no alcohol or there’ll be ructions outside the Martian version of Copper’s. Maybe a few Canadians; they seem like sensible people. A few Italians to cook and look good. A Scandavian or two to set up flawless child and health care systems. Japanese to invent stuff. A few Australians for the craic.

Can gay people go? What about religious people? What about people with fertilty issues? Stupid people?

I wonder would they have let me go? Imagine it: Dotty in a confined space with fifty single men and no access to social media, or medication.

Mission abort.

It seems like the most surreal thing I’ve ever heard. It’s the ten year wait that would get me. Surely you’d need to isolate yourself: cocoon yourself from the earthly until you’re Mars bound. What happens if someone on the list dies? Is there a waiting list like there is for a South Dublin school or a new Hermès? What if you change your mind? Would you be forever forbidden from interplanetary travel again? What if you got knocked up? Could you bring the kid? Are they all scientists, the chosen few? Any poets or musicians in there for a funky slam on the theme of cosmic wonder or an oul session pining for the long lost breathable atmosphere of home? For god’s sake, don’t send any politicians. Or bankers. Before you knew it they’d be in cahoots and planning to repossess the oxygen supply.

Will a moral code be agreed upon before departure? Will passengers need to take their passports? That’d be a pretty enviable stamp to have “Mars Interplanetary Airport Immigration Bureau – Admitted July 21st 2025”. Will they ever be able to communicate with those left on Earth again? Would they want to? If your loved one skedaddled off to Mars would you spend the rest of your life in therapy wondering what you did to drive them thirty five million miles away? I wonder have any of my exes signed up…

I’m completely intrigued by this… Insanity. Or is it the best idea ever? The ultimate get-away-from-it-all?

Maybe this is my morbidity overdrive but I can foresee a high suicide rate. No amount of psychiatric pre-approval can determine how a human consciousness will deal with the kind of enormity of emigrating to a different world, with the strong likelihood of never returning home. Oh hang on, the Famine. The Coffin Ships were full of sad, resigned eyes bidding a final farewell to the shores of home; expectant of death before they even reached the New World, as Ellis Island represented then. Maybe we should send all the Brits to Mars just for that?

This is the shit keeping me awake. That and the heartburn/nausea/coughing fits. And the dogs who have completely taken over my bed tonight.

Oh fuck it, I’m supposed to be giving up cursing for Lent, says the least Catholic woman in Ireland. I try to do it every year as I swear far too much and my father disapproves, and I always do what he tells me. It usually takes a few days of automatic cursing and asking random people to slap me on the back of the hand (this does little to ease their fears for an impending psychotic episode) or slapping myself (at which point they’re reaching for the Xanax) then I get out of the habit and by Easter my vocabulary is as chaste, bland and proper as a BBC continuity announcer. Then on Easter Sunday I gorge myself on expletives and spew forth forty days and nights’ worth of verbal communism.

On that note, I shall try to power down the mental shuttles in ten, nine, eight, seven…


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