Ticket to Ride

Yesterday, on the way to work, I heard that around 10:30a.m. an asteroid about the size of a bus would be passing by the earth.  It would be very close, nearly 36,000 miles out and traveling at an ungodly speed, of which I cannot remember.  I immediately called in to work and told them I was sick.  The flu, I told them…more like One Flew Over…

I headed downtown to the big bus stop where all the transfers happen.  Fumbling in my right pocket a couple of quarters stuck together with the gum that set itself free from the wrapper.  With my hand like a bucket I drew them up from the corduroy well.  I stood under the pavilion with the others.  I few conversations bounced off the plexiglas and a smoker on the other side of it rocked back and forth, arms crossed, trying to warm himself.  It was 10:15 and I sat on the cold aluminum with a Spock smile as I tried to separate 50cents into two quarters. Fifteen minutes afforded much wondering.

“At least I wouldn’t have to hitchhike through the galaxy!” I thought and wondered if the fare might be 42cents.  I wondered if Ms. Frizzle would be the driver.  Would the bus look like that huge brown cone-looking thing from a Star-Trek episode I saw at Pastor Norm’s house with my friendly nerd Tom?  That huge sucking cone thing like a bottom feeding fish of open space would swallow anything close…kind of like a teenage boy in front of an open fridge.  Would there be peoples (or things),  from outer space heading for outer space,  irritated that yet another stop, “Earth”, would slow down an already, quite less than light speed, journey.  I can just hear one of the aliens squeak out their complaint.  Translated: “Are we there yet?  I don’t have to use the waste illuminator!  I went in the debris of the Saturn ring twenty years ago!  Sheesh!”

A lot of politicians are talking about trips to the moon lately.  I thought their vision was small as I sat flat bottomed clicking my toes together to see if they were numb.  Which galatical line was passing through anyhow? The Milky Way? The Andromeda? The North Star Lines?  Was it heading for the Eye of God like a paradigm of C. S. Lewis’ Great Divorce?  I looked up as if looking through the satellite skies of Mark Heard and thought of the great beyond.  The great expanses freckled with dots of light always intrigued me.  Now I was ready to take a greater leap beyond mankind.  It will be great.  I will sit and watch the universe pass by while Ms. Frizzle drives on and on.  I will take in the heavens and think of poor ole David having to simply write about it in Psalm 19.

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