Space, Vodka, and Dust

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she\'s washing the greasy dishes after another evening performance, he\'s on the patio with his telescope, boring guests again, oh, they come because he\'s famous for going into space, maybe they\'ll get an autographed picture for the grandkids, but hell, he never even walked on the moon and most have forgotten who he was, she\'s thinking, and another thing, ever since his return, how he changed from the man he was into some kind of cosmic beast who loves to barbecue for people who come to chow down for free at his astronaut-trough, getting tooted up on vodka, but none can hold candle to his vodka prowess, and that too is something new since the flight, how he sees the rest of his life earth-bound, and maybe it\'s sad for ten seconds but hey, what about everyone else, most of all what about her having to stay with him, as no astronaut\'s wife gets a divorce, not smart, not patriotic, she\'s been warned, in the last few years as his body loosens and flabs she knows she\'s trapped, as he enters history\'s black hole, a zero of a man but that doesn\'t stop him from coming riproaring drunk, addled on viagra, to bed at the end of another mind-numbing astronomy lesson on the patio, guests nodding off or passing out, and in his mind he has his thrusts going full blast, but it\'s over too soon and he gets pissed, curses at her, then a slap or two, followed by the big punch, and then the inevitable blackout, and she\'s looking out the window at stars and wishing she was anywhere but here, and she hopes he\'ll die soon, and she knows she can\'t have anything to do with it, not patriotic and all, or if she does, how it has to be a secret, and she\'s not sure how it will be done, but for christsake it will happen and when it does she\'ll play the obligatory role of the astronaut\'s faithful widow, dressed in black, like space, as she has his inebriated ashes launched on a rocket that takes them away from this place, this earth, and she knows she\'ll select one of those bogus, fly-by-night companies that always crash their rockets in the desert, where she likes to think of snakes slithering through what\'s left of him or maybe sandstorms scattering him to absolute fucking oblivion.


Christopher Woods writes poetry, plays, and fiction. He is also a photographer.
His prose collection, UNDER A RIVERBED SKY, is available from PANTHER CREEK PRESS. He lives in Houston and in Chappell Hill, Texas.

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