I Remember Gravity
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by James Trivers
Category: Mainstream/Science Fiction
Description: On the militaristic Homestead, Velcro lines the bottom of objects and the soles of shoes to hold things down. The ten-thousand-manned space ship has meandered on the far reaches of the empty universe for thirty-five years. Nonetheless, the ship's shops, schools and services attempts to recapture the amenities of suburban life in the now long-gone earth. A psychiatrist suddenly has a revolution on his hands. Entire demographics of men, women and children are acting out in a sexual compulsive manner. People are flocking to the space ship's boiler rooms where they shed their clothes, float, and fluck anonymously. This spins the shrink into a quandary, he tries to rein in his client's impulses but he too is swept up in the ship's zeitgeist.
eBook Publisher: Club Lighthouse Publishing USA LLC/Club Lighthouse Publishing, 2011 2011
eBookwise Release Date: May 2011
Available eBook Formats:
Reading time: 52-74 min.
I REMEMBER GRAVITY.
Any crewmember over the age of thirty-five remembers the omnipresent pull of gravity as well.
It's the kids that don't. How could they? All they know is the confines of this massive spacecraft, which travels the black and ever-expanding universe.
In space people don't fall down as the gravity-bound do. The silly science fiction myth of the anti-gravity machine is simply that. No such contraption ever existed and if it did, no doubt, it wouldn't work. Here on the Homestead when we lose our balance, we bump up into freestanding structures such as walls or strapped-down tables and chairs.
The progeny of this colossal craft have only known a sealed environment. They have never been "outside" as we who remember earth knew it. They have never oriented themselves to a horizon line. Instead today's generation compass themselves to the monitored perimeters of the SS Homestead which varies from walls, rooms, door ways, stairs, elevators, corridors, and a three tiered atrium of shops.
The SS Homestead is a white gargantuan labyrinth housing ten thousand inhabitants. We are a roving community complete with magistrates, apartments, offices, schools, multiplexes, infirmaries and extensive green houses. Except for the restaurants, private homes and professional offices, most municipal environments were originally coated with jolly pre-school colors. If I were allowed to rename the SS Homestead, I would call it the SS Suburbia on the good days. Otherwise I would name it the SS Sulk on normal days.
I name it that because I am one of the ship's psychotherapists. I practice a splattering of Freud, Frankel, Sheedy and Jung combined with a healthy dose of behaviourism and common sense. In essence I am nothing more than a perceptive and consoling Band-Aid. I cannot cure but I can guide.
There are three psychotherapists on board: two women (who corral most of the unhappy female demographic) and me.
Before it became a crater, I studied, graduated and practiced in Chicago.
At the start of the last big war, I was drafted into the Air Force and then transferred to the Space Force in which I served as a therapist. When the war began, I was assigned to this cushy white aluminum cloud roaming somewhere in the dark vacuous universe. That was thirty-five years ago.
Our only earthly broadcast originates from Singapore, the planet's last functioning settlement
I read history to understand. To understand what is not readily understood. Luckily the world's history was recorded on disc. The original brittle documents that systematized the workings of government did not survive the last apocalypse. However you can piece history together by cross-referencing those hoary papers via my personal and extensive library of discs. To see things for what they are, you have to see things for what they were which means you have to do research. Nowadays, nobody does that.
I immerse myself in history's eyewitness commentaries. It helps me put an order to things. These are the things I do in outer space.
Some people would call me 'pedantic,' that is, if they still used that word and therefore knew what that meant.
Nobody has any sense of history any more. People are very accepting as long as it glistens and is current.
If you have studied the contemporary reactive mind, you wonder how it got that way. How could the technology become so advanced while the human's insatiable need for emotional/material affirmation has not evolved much further than the advent of the wheel?
History perhaps holds that clue.
Historians have written that two hundred years ago there was prevalent youth movement in what was then known as First World Countries. It started in the Northern Atlantic Hemisphere. The youth grew their hair long and wore torn clothing. They stopped using deodorant. They incessantly ingested either numbing or vainglorious drugs. They practiced rampant and serendipitous sex as an expression of freedom. They religiously listened to algebraically balanced yet electronically dissonant music on circular vinyl platters called 'records.' They were known at times to obsess on one 'record' for a period of one to three months. The music either inspired or modulated them. They would idiomatically explain this fascination by saying they were "into" these particular records. This behaviour was coupled with a political protest against a colonial war fought, I think, somewhere in the fifth market sector. In this case, the youth and liberal establishment wanted to end war.
Later there was a segment of this movement known as skateboarders. They were athletic and devoted their lives to riding the asphalt incline on a four-wheeled parabola shaped board. This phenomenon was the beginning of youth defying gravity. These youngsters would ride their skateboards on what was considered the most unlikely surfaces: stair banisters, walls and large sloping empty pits. Known as swimming pools. Those skateboarders dedicated their energy to defy gravity. Today's kids are born into a schema in which gravity is already defied.
Velcro is the 'gravity element' on the SS Homestead. Velcro lines the bottoms of shoes, pillows, pads, lamps, pods, chairs, blanket, plates, place mats, remote controls, vases, glasses, boxes, jars, trinkets, toys, pocket flaps, iPads and iPods.
It should be noted that the ship is prevalently carpeted wall-to-wall with Velcro as well. There is a great variety of colors, textures, thickness and patterns of Velcro carpet. For those who are sentimental and can afford it, there is a Velcro carpet that fashions its color, texture and grain after a wood floor. It reminds me of faux wood paneling I remember from a basement rumpus room.
Because of the Velcro under footing, the populace's gait is accompanied by ripping like rhythms of Velcro snapping and popping.
Adults like myself prefer to reside in a Velcro lined paradigm. I try to minimize the weightlessness as much as possible. I am an earth-made man and any semblance of gravity makes me feel secure. At times an object gets loosened and begins to float away. Instinctively I snatch the thing and secure it. Soon one adjusts one's self to such circumstances without much thought. We adults act like this is normal.
The adults on the Homestead have a need of gravity. We need rules. We think nothing of being monitored. This is because the adults who survived that last war were careerists in the military. When the world fell apart, it was the military that held us together. The military protected us. We survived to survive no matter how dreary. Now no one really wants to think or investigate dreary except of course, my unhappy clients.
Children are brought up to conform to this manner of living. A maxim of a well-behaved child is a child whose Velcro lined shoes are firmly planted to the Velcro floor.
Wearing Velcro-lined soles on the ship is mandatory! It is another facet of control that has to be strongly enforced. Taking off your shoes in heavily trafficked thoroughfares results in very heavy fines and in some cases, incarceration.
Then it happened -- a revolt which caused the ship's stringent moral and comportment code go awry.