Consider the mathematics of my German father.
The unconditional tears of my Filipino mother.
Call me Spock, but it was logic versus emotion
every day on Earth.
Out in space, there are over a million miles
between asteroids in an asteroid field.
It’s pretty much impossible to hit one unless you actually
aim for it.
Not so on Star Trek. There, they have to grit their teeth,
put their shields up, crash a couple times and assess the
As a kid, I was amazed by the skill of those spacemen,
“skill” which I soon realized was nothing more than sheer
Hitting an asteroid? There’s just no excuse for that.
A modest revelation. But these revelations
strung themselves together, orbited the planet
in ways that messed with things like gravity and light.
It went like this: You knew you could fly
until your first attempt left you with two broken teeth.
You knew you were like all the other kids,
until your best friend said, No, you’re not.
And he was right.
And in that moment, something shifted.
The galaxy became real, and in its realness, the asteroids
seemed so much closer than you thought.
You were half-alien, staring down an eternity
that was both limitless and dangerous
as a captain’s voice boomed from above:
Brace for impact, we’re going down.
Copyright © 2013 Matthew Olzmann
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, LLC on behalf of Alice James Books.