Last Minute Preparations

On Thursday, I finished the first draft to my grad school writing sample. I’m waiting a week before I start revising it, so I’ll be looking at it with a more open mind.

This post is going to be work related. Inspiration came from the science channel.


Last Minute Preparations

Before I leave the house, the second I wake up, I make sure my suit is spotless. There can be no dust, soot, holes, loose threads, or god-forbid, a tear. Anything out of place would be the end of the world for me and even the men I work with. In order to take care of them, I have to take care of myself first.

I don’t do the typical things you, or most people, might do. I’m one of the rare people that are actually capable of getting the job done. It requires strength, mental and physical; mathematical and scientific intelligence, as well as creativity, for when you’re put in a life or death situation, which unfortunately happens on a seemingly regular basis.

I can tell you’re getting anxious, wondering when I’ll tell you what I do. I need you to be patient. When I’m in the office, there’s no time to think. I’m constantly acting. When I get the chance to sit back and reflect, I take it seriously, even if I have to waste an entire day. Well, actually, I hate to use the word waste because I’m really wasting anything. Everyday, you’re only taking in what you choose to perceive. When you’re working at a million miles an hour, there’s no time for anything, but the world continues to go on at its own pace.

I’ll tell you a story about an experience I had at work. There’s no way to tell you exactly, and have you actually understand, so I’ll try to tell another story that’s similar and will still get the point across.

I’m a coal miner. You know what that’s like. Dangerous, obviously. It’s exhilarating though. The cancerous air we breath is awful and the possibility of being buried alive under God knows how many tons of Earth, plus accidents with explosives, but putting all that aside, I love it. We’re mining for the stuff that generates everything on Earth. We put everything into motion.

I used to–well, I still do–love to constantly be moving, because it makes life go by quicker. When I was younger, like all of us, I couldn’t wait to grow older. I had a tedious childhood. It seemed like bad things were attracted to me. I’d tell myself that it’ll get better one day, and it would, for one day. Then something else would happen. I assumed when I was older, I would learn how to deal with the hard times, accept them for what they were, and move on, again, like we all do, but something always seemed to go wrong.

I hated myself. I watched the old movies and read many books about the misery that came with the job and thought how suiting it would be for me.

Now, like the coal miner, my job is a delicate one. One wrong move could be the end for not just you, but the people you work with. But they’re not just people you work with; they’re your friends. But they’re also more than just friends. You love them, not in the way you love your family, but in a brotherhood-type way. When you’re working at such a fast pace at an extremely demanding job that will one day kill you, you tend to miss things, like the fact that you love the group of people you work with.

You’d never think that you could love people in different ways. You assume there’s just one type of love, but that’s not true. I’m pretty sure the Greeks use love in three different ways. When you finally slow down, you can learn things like that.

You let me get distracted. I’m supposed to tell you about my real job, and a certain experience. I’ll finally tell you. I’m a miner, but not on Earth. I commute via space shuttle to asteroids, harvesting raw materials. I risk my life every day, but I’ve grown so used to the silence of space, and the solidarity, all while being able to look down on the world, like I’m God. The truth is that there’s no one particular experience I’m thinking about because when you’re up there, you’re not thinking about that. You’re praying your suit is in perfect condition; you’re praying there won’t be a solar flare; you’re praying your life line doesn’t detach, like in Gravity; you’re praying your oxygen levels remain normal; you’re praying to go home.

I’m finally home. I look back and I can barely remember what I was thinking about. It was the opportunity of a lifetime and I let it slip by. You’d think something like that would be impossible, but its true. It was always my dream, ever since I was little kid, to go to space, but I missed it. I was there and I missed it. We came home early because one of us had an accident. A man’s hand got crushed because I was looking for my home when I was supposed to pay attention to the heavy machinery. His suit got caught and I could have stopped it if I was paying attention, but I wasn’t so his hand had to be sacrificed. Luckily, with private businesses competing back home to build better space ships, we can get home relatively quickly. We couldn’t save the hand, but he’s alive.

They told us to take an early vacation, to clear our minds. It was very generous, but honestly, we’re the only people crazy enough to do this sort of thing, so they need us to want to go, like when we were little. Hopefully, when I go back next week, I’ll remember these thoughts and slow down. Then again, with this type of job, I’ll end up killing someone next time. I guess that’s what retirement’s for.


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