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Jettisoning


by Nicholas Cook


The pilot picked the songs. Elvis Costello and Neil Young. That one Pretenders song everybody knew. I wanted to sweep all the space junk into a big net, pick out the good stuff like Halloween candy. He told me that was a stupid idea. He was the kind of person who hung an exit sign above a door. There was no exiting in space. They called it jettisoning.

I told him I liked that one Proclaimers song, and Oh how I missed walking. Don't we all kid, he said, then turned up Back on The Chain Gang. Said Chrissie was the kind of space babe he could get with. Not those frozen ice queens on Mars with their chilly tentacles.

The hunk of metal we floated on looked like a steampunk float. Nobs that didn't do shit. A bunch of portholes. A vestibule we never used. There were no umbrellas in space.

At night I dreamed of 70s babes. Big Farrah Fawcett hair and everybody chain smoking. There was no smoking in space. Sometimes the pilot would appear like background music in my dreams. Floating around in his spacesuit with his stupid monocle. One of us may have had a mustache.

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