Earth. Third planet from the sun and the only planet known to support life. It’s the only planet not named after a Greek or Roman god. And unlike the naming of other planets’ moons, our moon is simply called Moon—this struck me today, that we didn’t name Earth’s moon; I wonder why? Though I like Moon and if they named it, I’d still call it Moon.
As Earth ages it is slowing down. Only about 17 milliseconds per hundred years, but it lengthens the days. Many millions of years from now, Earth will have a 25-hour day. What to do with that extra hour? Sleep in? Waste it? Yeah. We’ll waste it.
Though we have a 24-hour day, it actually takes 23 hours, 56 minutes, and 4 seconds for the Earth to rotate on its axis—that’s called a Sidereal Day. No, our nights and days won’t eventually be wonky. Why? Because Earth orbits around the sun and if you consider the motion from the sun as Earth orbits it as well as the rotation of Earth on its axis, it comes to 24 hours, and that’s called a Solar Day. Solar Day is the time it takes for the sun to be back in the same place in the sky—24 hours. Yeah, that sounds confusing, but really it’s not when you think about it a moment, or just accept it.
And a year isn’t exactly 365 days. There is an extra .2564 days to make a total of 365.2564 days. To make things even out, every 4 years we have Leap Year. We are so clever.
Click here to see: Earth rotating at night.
And since I usually mention a weight measure when we visit other planets, did you know that at the equator you would weigh a few ounces less than if standing at one of the poles? Gravity.
If we were aware of how fast we are actually moving, spinning through space, at, depending where you are on Earth, a bit over 1,000 miles per hour, you’d at the very least vomit. It’s weird to think though that people on the equator move fastest and people on the North or South poles are still. So if we were aware of our spinning and moving, we’d all rush to the poles and freeze our asses off.
It is on Earth I land my little log spaceship and trek down to The City for supplies and fuel. The City where I have my home-base is tiny with only 1,000 or so full-time residents. But during peak tourist seasons that swells and quite considerably. There are people and cars everywhere. You would think that having more people would make the lonely feel less alone, but it does not. People are not meant to be alone. Like water finding water, people find people. We are social animals. Everywhere we go, there are groups, or couples. There are parents/grandparents and their children. There are couples—lovers or friends or both. There are groups of friends. There are families. There is touch and talk and laughter and argument and discussion and kiss and hold and share.
If you are alone and find something funny or interesting or amazing, the funny or interesting or amazing loses its shine when there is no one to say, “I know! Right?”
When you have been alone in your spaceship for many days, you are not sure of how you sound or appear to others. If you speak to someone, you wonder if you made sense. If your words and sentences and phrases come out coherent. You forget what conversation sounds like. If you are in a social situation, you either babble a million words, or you have few words at all and stare dumbly at the other person as they wait with raised eyebrows for you to say something. You practice speaking to your little dog because you aren’t sure if your voice will go rusty—can vocal cords forget how to speak if not used regularly? You google it, and find out, here, that you’d be just fine—that when someone woke from a 19-year coma, he was able to speak. You are relieved, and also, strangely, disappointed.
Though Earth is loud, especially during the busy seasons, or when you visit other cities while on Earth, and even more especially after returning from Pluto and Mars (previous posts), there is a vacuum of silence around you. While the silence of loneliness is quite apparent, the sound of loneliness is really quite loud.
When alone most all the time, you forget what you look like. Reflections lie. They do, really. If there is no one to tell you that you are beautiful or handsome and sexy and wonderful, what are you then to yourself? Though you shower, brush and floss your teeth, eat fairly healthfully, drink in moderation, and sleep, and exercise, and stretch, and take care of yourself in many various ways, you may not brush your hair for days; you may wear clean but comfortable-and-not-attractive clothes for weeks; you may wander about the spaceship touching things just to make sure you are real—because if the things you touch are real, then so are you. You don’t doubt your sanity—you don’t. You don’t. You don’t. Don’t. Don’t. You. Don’t.
Some nights the loneliness becomes shapes in the dark and you aren’t even afraid. Instead you ask, “Who are you? What do you want? Guess what I saw today?” And there is no answer, so you sleep and dream of people. People people people populate your dreams—and you are doing things with the people: talking, laughing, having sex, kissing, hugging, arguing, running from them and to them. You wake from your dreams and for a moment it is enough.
You have a constant “cruel wanting.”
The paradox is: though you are lonely, you want to be left alone. Because you get it in your head that people are not to be trusted. People mean hurt and chaos and responsibility. You can’t stand it but you do.
And that’s all I have to say to you today. That’s all I got.
(P.S. I’ll have another give-away next week, as well as a Repair of the Day, and some Dinner Ideas for One – WHEEHAW!. – Judy D – you won the Mars Chocolate drawing from last week. Email or FB message me. . . . )