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Neighborhood Watch

by Scott D. Williams 2 years ago in space
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I've seen a thing or two.


I’ve lived in this neighborhood from the beginning, when there was nothing but an open lot filled with debris. It was so lonely.

Don’t ask me my age. It wouldn’t be polite, and frankly I can’t remember anyway. I do recall that time, way, way back, when I nearly collided with the baby. The damned thing was huge, warm and gurgling with chemistry. It was fascinating to watch it grow. Then came its brothers and sisters. Pretty soon they grew big and, like good adults, they cleaned up the place – more or less. There’s still that god-awful mess in the middle where I’m constantly dodging their toys. Beyond the neighborhood there’s this wall of crap I don’t even want to try to cross. So, I stay here, patrolling my space.

Whenever I brush past a world, I gratuitously dust it with embryonic life. Not on purpose, you understand. It’s just the natural byproduct of my journey. Sometimes it takes, and after a while life forms spring up and multiply. I’ve seen some interesting results. Like that third rock from the sun, the pretty blue one.

I first remember seeing them from my lofty perch when they were just little creatures learning how to live together. Of course, I use the phrase “living together” rather loosely.

During the short time I passed by, I would notice them constantly fighting each other. Really quite morbid entertainment. Much of the time I am alone in the void, ever watchful for the next planetary road sign.

During my cosmic scenic tour, I pass by many colorful orbs. There’s that one with the stripes – which only makes it look fat, I might add – and the super-cool one with those fabulous rings. There’s the red rock and the green, hazy rock, and that weird one that sits all cock-eyed like a staggering drunk. I love them all, really, but my favorite is that blue one with the white patterns and the tiny, ever-busy creatures. They just keep building and destroying, and then building again. Sometimes they even fly around their rock, taking tentative steps toward their neighbors in this ‘hood.

I don’t know if it’s really a good idea for them to venture out so. I mean, look at the mess they make! But despite it all, they just keep going. It’s almost comical, their little dance. Two steps forward, one step back. I haven’t seen anything like them since those others on the red rock. But they have flown the coop and don’t look like they’re coming back. The blue-rock ones, though, they look like they have promise. I wonder if we’ll ever get to meet. I could show them a thing or two.

I have a pretty steady schedule. I make my rounds, taking note of the changes. I see the visitors pass through in their speedy little eggs. I don’t know where they come from, honestly, but they never seem to stay for long.

They seem curious, like intergalactic travelers on a tour. They stop, take pictures, poke and feed the creatures, and then move on.

But me, I’m always here. The steady companion and watcher of all that happens in my neighborhood. Not that it’s always easy or comfortable.

Whenever I get close to the giant fireball, I shed weight and shrink like a celestial celebrity on a crash diet. One time I flew between the first and second rocks – just for kicks, I’d like to say – but it became so unbearably hot I thought I would completely melt away. But then I moved on and away, and packed on my winter weight again. I never really regain my original weight though. I know someday I will wither away into stardust – for dust is how all life begins and ends, so they say. But I don’t mind. It’s been a great trip so far.

Maybe I’ll see the tiny blue-rock creatures later, but for now here’s a little light show, just for their wonderment and awe. Silly little things.


About the author

Scott D. Williams

Scott is a writer, family man and San Diego Padres fan.

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