Why Am I Wearing An Astronaut Suit
The first thing I notice is the total silence that enshrouds me. The next thing I’m aware of is that I seem to have lost the sense of touch. I’m laying flat on my back and I know my arms are laying out beside me. Yet I don’t feel the earth. I feel encased in a marshmallow. My eyes aren’t doing their job either as they won’t open in a proper manner. I’m reminded of the time my older brother rubbed my face with Elmer’s glue after he discovered I’d used his pet hamster for show and tell at school and had accidentally dropped it in the Burmese python cage. Harvey didn’t stand a chance and I couldn’t see for several weeks. With a mighty effort, I force my eyes open. I must have been in a motorcycle accident because I’m wearing a helmet of some sort, full face with a fantastic polarized lens mitigating the fact that the sun is at high noon directly above my head, blazing directly in my eyes. Strangely, I don’t remember having a motorcycle or being in an accident but scientists tell you short term amnesia is often the result of traumatic stress. I don’t remember the first year after I caught my first wife in bed with Tom Jones. I suppose there something to it.
Forgetting Tom Jones again, I decide it’s time to figure out exactly what’s going on. My first attempt to sit up results in a weak grunt and a collapse backwards. My head hits something firm and solid with a whack. Thank god for the motorcycle helmet, I think, still not sure of when I got a motorcycle. Sitting up seems to be impossible as there is a thickness to my midsection that is new to me. Encased in a marshmallow indeed. Remembering the lack of touch, I lift my right hand slowly and with difficulty to a position where I can see it through the fortuitous helmet lens. Why do I have ski gloves on? Perhaps I didn’t get a motorcycle. Perhaps this is a terrible snowmobiling accident. I have read stories of daredevils who go on snowmobiling tours ignoring the guide’s advice to stay 20-30 yards behind the vehicle in front of them and end up driving off a cliff when the entire group stops too quickly. Perhaps I am that daredevil.
I am uncomfortably warm, having lain at the bottom of a cliff for hours while my friends and family frantically try to find a way to help me. No, they probably think I am dead after a fall from such heights as I must have fallen. I am lucky to be alive but will die here of starvation and exposure if the wolves and the grizzlies don’t eat me first. Luckily, the helmet will prevent the crows from eating my eyeballs and my mother can have the open casket funeral. She’s always been so worried that if I die in a disfiguring car accident that she won’t be able to have an open casket funeral. I have saved her that ignominy. The women at the First Christian Church of Episcopalian Latter Day Saints won’t be able to gossip and for that I’m thankful.
Returning my attention to my arm, I notice that my gloves are actually part of the parka I’m wearing. They aren’t sown on so much as just part of the same cloth. I lift one leg to examine it and find that I’m wearing moon boots but not the ones I remember from high school. They look as though my feet have been wrapped in gray swaddling cloth with soles. Perhaps it’s time to roll over and figure out what’s going on. With some effort, I roll over and sit up. Now things are really confusing as I have clearly been in neither a motorcycle accident or a snowmobiling mishap. I am in a large open field blooming with daisies. Looking to my left, I see that I have been laying on a Critical Slide Society surfboard. I don’t think this is what Beyonce had in mind when she wrote that song. Looking down, I see why movement was so difficult. I’m in a space suit, not one designed by the Jetsons either. More like one that Yuri Garagin wore in his worst nightmares. I’m starting to wish I had died in the imaginary motorcycle accident. It’s time to figure out what the hell is going on.