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Gastro Ad Astra


by P.R. Mercado


He had a simple dream: He wanted to become a star, and not one of those tv stars because those die, those die all the time, and before dying they usually become terrible shadows of their former selves, vile creatures who exploit their own former glory; no, he wanted to become an actual star, a giant ball of burning gas in space, and he wasn't quite sure how to go about it, but he had a plan, for we all learn something of stars early on, that they're big but very far away, and if stars are big, then he will figure out the “made up of burning gas” part later.

In the mean time, he had to be very large, and it was convenient, because he was already large to begin with; and all he had to do was continue along that terrible road toward morbid, if a bit comical, obesity. He ate with the valiant persuasion of a Homeric hero, ate as if few things in the world mattered; and at the end of his long dining room table was a a NASA photo of the Ursa Major, but with an extra star, right where the bear's stomach would be, and that would be him: The Gastro, he would be called, the man who ate his way ad astra!

It only took maybe a year for his dreams to shatter. “You're not going to make it if you go on like this,” said the doctor, whose ambitions, he was sure, were pallid and stale, not at all among the ranks to which he sought to elevate himself, so he went on, until everyone heard about this large man trying to become a small star in the vastness of space, and the newspapers began printing stories about him, and the tv shows began to mention him, and people began to visit him in his house. They stood in his yard, with banners that said: “Gastro ad Astra!” and he would stare at them as he shoved things into his face with such force that it was like he was trying to reenact the massive pressures involved in the creation of a star. 

Finally, not long after, he passed away, out of the usual conditions, and it was not as if anyone expected any different, save for the few who thought of him as some sort of god. Some believe he merely shed his earthly form and really did become a star, that Gasto is really at the belly of the Great Bear, whose light has not yet reached our planet, its creation being recent, being born solely through will and gluttony, and those who believe to this day still raise their cupcakes to the North, before consuming it with swift and terrible savagery, and say: “To Gastro!” 
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