glass bodies 71 80

the ecology student

along a stretch in the stream of ancient stars, I first discovered Dr Firn’s scarlet spaceship racing across the
northern sky. Pulsing at half a million miles an hour, its mind had a diameter of the full moon. Aboard it, he
had created a whole eco-system. He and his wife, in an attempt at human enterprise for happiness and justice, had
been pilgrims across the galaxy. On large scales gravity operates on a different level. Among the dark and lonely
reaches of this multi-verse, Dr Firn had been a probability, and orphaned travellers have continued to follow his orbit
long after his parent cluster has dissolved completely away. There may be hundreds of even thousands of such stellar
scientists and humans ringing in our galaxy. And yet my discovery is precious. In recent years I have found myself
going back to the memory of his wise words, his humble demeanour, and the wonders of his celestial gardens.
To push through a vast foreground of stars, to lead the way gently pointing out the direction, indicating that the
original cluster was not torn apart violently. Sitting there under the shade of unaided trees, at a particular age
and distance, eating his carrot cake, finding a cosmic highway for morality, spanning more than 130 times the stream
of our knowledge, and yet holding out against the tidal forces of our Milky Way galaxy. His body may have rotten
in the ground in a nameless tomb on a nameless asteroid, and his companion wife may be holding out in grief. Yet
I do not despair in this time of war; I was lucky to be his friend, and while the digital sky may flicker and offer
thousands upon thousands of wicked, false truths, I can skim through the fake (be a friend to Orson Welles) and know
that many are currently trying to answer big questions. How far Dr Firn’s halo extends, I do now know – yet I do
know that the dark matter, spherical in shape, invisible, surrounds us. I am optimistic about the chances of humans,
our earth-bound eyes sometimes stray across a whole new universe. He was my friend, and I loved him.

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