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May 17th, 2020
Lucilius was walking along the water’s edge. In the darkness the surf was glowing slow pulses of blue as the rhythm of the water excited a colony of algae. The color ran in strips along the beach as the surf flattened and spread along the sand. Lucilius kneeled down to look at the tiny glowing creatures but they grew dark. He imagined them like stars in the water, and so looked up at the speckled sky.
The sky was vibrant, with distant stars, constellations and now pins of light that slowly moved, crisscrossing the vast black canvas. Lucilius remembered seeing the first space station, bright as a planet hurtling across the sky, and how silent everyone had been. He thought back to the very first satellite, and how everyone had been silent for a different reason. He smiled, remembering when his marveling was interrupted.
Lucilius looked over to see a man bent over a telescope that had a camera affixed to it’s viewfinder.
“Dust getting in the way of your light?”
The man looked from his telescope to see Lucilius.
“What?” the man said.
“Dust. Stardust, getting in the way of your view.”
“It’s not dust, it’s giant hunks of metal.”
“And where’d that metal come from?”
“Well down here, of course, where it’s supposed to be.”
“And where was it before it was here?”
Even in the darkness, Lucilius could see the man’s quizzical look, as though he were speaking nonsense.
“All of this,” Lucilius said, looking around, motioning to the world. “was once part of a star, you, me, all of it. And now just a tiny bit of it is up there, in orbit.”
“Yea, and they’re getting in my way.”
“A bit ironic, wouldn’t you say?”
“The things that are getting in the way of your view are a direct result of the sort of stars you are trying to see.”
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