Putting me on a mission to Mars would definitely be an experiment in documenting what happens to an average person when forced to live in space. Or, maybe, a fall-down-laugh-out-loud, hilarious thing for scientists looking to develop a reality show.
I know there would be a lot I’d miss about our big blue planet. For example, I’d miss oxygen. The freedom to breathe without being enveloped in a bulky space suit would be sorely missed. This would include being free of the other apparatus to which you are rudely impaled; those contraptions supposedly designed to help you perform your other bodily functions. Being packaged and tightly wrapped in anti atmosphere-that-can-kill-you space suit, boots, gloves and helmet all the live-long day makes me think I’d miss my carefree days in my youth when, during summer camping trips, I’d join in on a giddy romp of skinny dipping. Yeah. The thought of a 24/7 cumbersome and invasive space suit does make me wonder if the idea of streaking could evolve into an obsession.
Speaking of space suits and nudity, I’d miss fashion. One Space Suit to Rule Them All, is a practical solution, to be sure, and, while it might hide a multitude of lumps, rolls, bulges and bumps, it is not a look I want to have to live in the rest of my days. For the first time in my life, I think I would develop an insatiable desire for über frilly, flouncy, bouncy, lacy, delicate, silky, and in all other ways, feminine party dresses. And hair that lies flat or straight down. I think I would grow bored of the finger-in-a-electrical-socket look.
Weight. As much as I despise it on my person, I’d miss feeling the weight of things. To live in an environment without gravity would be weird, of course, but it would be more bizarre to have command of a vocabulary that knows the nuances of “light” and “heavy,” but suddenly having no need to use it. Like the native cultures of the far north that have hundreds of words for “snow” and “ice,” I think I would need to develop various words for anti-gravity beyond “weightlessness” and “frothiness.”
Red. Living on Mars I know I will come to hate all variations of the color red. Not to mention the utilitarian white, silver and black of all my NASA-issued equipment and living environs. And a variation in topography. I’d really miss water, shorelines, trees, grass, flowers…
But, missed most of all? That would be any poet, playwright, or author who waxed on about the beauty of trees, rivers, oceans, greenery, flowers, snow, rain, white clouds, birds, fish, wild beasts, city streets, tall buildings, cozy houses, cats, a fire in a fire place, windows, dogs, farming equipment, corn silos, race tracks, ball fields, sidewalks, forest trails, swimming pools, hedge rows, dance halls, orchestra halls, theaters, bridges, warm blankets, house plants, French chefs, divine dinners, coffee, pastries, shrines, cathedrals, park benches, puppets, songs, music, painters, small decorative porcelain boxes, diamonds, rainbows, color wheels, velvet, hugs, kisses, sex, blue skies, baby buggies, bicycles, pretty dresses, elegant tuxedos, shag carpets, tree houses, gold smiths, gorgeous movie stars, captains of industry, mothers of broken soldiers, veterinarians, humble shop keepers, or jewel thieves.
Oh, dear God, I’d miss all those authors and writers. But most especially, their muses. Most especially. Just an earthbound misfit, I.