It’s Not Easy by John Wentworth Chapin

The droning of the ventilation system agitates him. He feels clammy: cold and yet sticky with sweat. He tries sleeping on his left side; when he rolls over, a small sigh escapes her lips. “Are you awake?” he whispers, squinting in the dim refracted halogen light. He feels bad for a moment: she is silent for a good long while.

“As if I could sleep,” she hisses, all venom.

“It’s loud and I’m hot and… well, I’m totally not comfortable.”

“We’re camping in space. What’d you expect?”

He doesn’t know what he expected. Not this. Not intense discomfort. He studies the far outline of some nebula-like shit; his contacts were bugging him and he had to take them out. He sighs, “This isn’t really camping.”

“Oh my God, Scott. You didn’t expect a tent?”

Again: he doesn’t know what he expected. He says, “Do you remember that time we had the RV in New Mexico? And we got stuck?”

She thinks. “And you thought there were mountain lions?”

“Right.” He thought a moment. “This is worse.”

She props herself up on her elbows. “How?”

“We were stuck, but it was better in the morning.”

“I think it’s exactly the same,” she says, moving closer and rubbing his back. “You’re afraid.”

He nods to himself, feeling her fingers on his back. But I’m more afraid. Her touch is relaxing, but it’s not enough.

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Filed under John Wentworth Chapin

6 responses to “It’s Not Easy by John Wentworth Chapin

  1. Also, how would he know morning in space? No relief from the fear.

    Well done!

  2. Really excellent take on the theme. The last paragraph takes the potential hilarity to a somber level. Peace…

  3. Pingback: Week #13 – Space Camp « 52|250 A Year of Flash

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