Sometimes I think of a bar top in London. I don’t remember the name of the bar top’s bar; I’ve not tried to find it and maybe it doesn’t exist anymore. It’s not important. The bar top that I think of is locked away in a hot summer memory layered approximately 48 thousand hours deep. I don’t know all that much about it, this tiny bar top, in a corridor that I’m told is like, an industry secret or whatever. A tiny bar where not-so-tiny chefs go on Tuesday afternoons to eat tiny food off tiny plates, and I’m not sure if any of that wasn’t bullshit but it didn’t matter much, that afternoon. Because I was eating cheese off a board and drinking dusty, natural wine and my legs dangled from the stool; and there was the right amount of open-door breeze and I was in London and in love, probably.
I remembered this bar top today, because today was the day that a man named Boris went on television and said something like: here is a strategy that exits inwards towards a bar top. And I ran around the park and the sun was milky and the colour of orange juice, grenadine and sparkling lemonade; this was 5PM, I could just taste the summer. I thought of this tiny bar top and wafting warm air; and the feeling of languid time and the happiest haze. And many other floaty alliterations that make me yearn for feelings like ‘forever’ and ‘endless’ and ‘drift’ when these words have held darker weight this past year, and at other times. But especially that top layer of the hours when being untethered felt like floating away, instead of hovering in the infinite over a tiny bar top. Eating olives with my fingers.
About six months ago, I wrote about the story of possible life on Venus, which was actually phosphine floating in peachy Pina Colada weather 50KM above the surface. I’ve always been quite interested in space, in a far away, fictional way. Space is just a puppy made from stardust that bounces around me. Like, oh isn’t that cute, isn’t that interesting? You’re so good and clever, aren’t you space? In good space I can roller skate around the rings of Saturn looking like Heather Graham in Boogie Nights. I can sit at the Cosmic bar dressed in glow sticks and drink nitro cocktails with fun names like Buzzed Aldrin. It is good, nice, fun, everyone is dressed like a real life Jetsons and it is definitely not real science space.
Real science space hurts my brain and makes me scared. It’s infiniteness, it’s unknowingness, it’s timelessness. Anti-gravity. Falling into black holes. I’m anxious, I’m dissociating, this is bad, bad space.
I was reminded about space when that story came up this week about the Perseverance rover landing on Mars. Which, congrats to science, is very good; despite two lines ago I am not actually denying the significance and worthiness of real science space. Shortly after the news broke, a video that purported to be taken by the Perseverance rover of Mars went viral, and I watched it a few times like a lot of people did. This footage was actually taken by the existing Curiosity rover who landed on Mars back in 2012, with some random, windy audio placed over it. Which I imagine is how it might sound, but can’t say for sure. I feel quite annoyed for Curiosity, getting artistically ripped off like that after years of ACTUAL perseverance.
I mention this fake video, which likely includes real shots by darling OG rover Curiosity, because of how I felt when I watched what was supposed to be an astonishing video of Mars, the landscape of ANOTHER planet. Which was mostly nothing. If anything, I thought about how truly boring it looked. Just all this rock and blandness and soundtracked fake wind. A cold, lonely desert, gasping for companionship and fevered breath.
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