Thursday, February 5, 2009

Your Satellite

Somewhere a satellite sits circling the void you left when you went into the cold. The wake behind you rocked it gently, warm as you sped away to rocks unknown.

It did not know this was the last touch it would receive from you.

It has a beacon, it blinks out ON. OFF. BEAT. BEAT. Because you told it to. Because you set it spinning in a pockmarked corner of a frigid black nothing and you taught it to connect. You programmed it inviting, polite, pure. You wanted it to reach out, seek new hands to communicate. You did not explain that this was a remote, futile hope. You did not see the need.

Every so often your satellite will pick up the distant hum-buzz of others in the distance. Mundane chatter sinking, scorched in noise, fading away. It would triangulate, it would intensify, it would scream. BEAT. BEAT. PLEASE. BEAT. Hopeful, pleading, just needing one ping back.

In the shadows, waiting, it dwells on the few things it had left of you. A leather glove. A wrench. An old photograph of someone. A half-eaten sandwich. These things are sealed inside it's tin exterior, abandoned haphazardly. It cannot see these things, but occasionally, as they drift with your satellite, they will caress it. Your garbage will brush the satellites circuits, and it blacks out.

However painful, it treasures these moments of contact.

Over the unmeasurable rotations amid the debris, your satellite has come to the conclusion that regardless of whether or not anyone hears it, no one cares. That it has nothing to give these distant strangers it chirps out to except intense loneliness. Except a few lines of data you hastily pieced together as you were leaving. No one will come to find the satellite because the fact that it needs them to is not enough.

You didn't explain to it that it was boring.

It doesn't even know that you hurt it. It doesn't know that it's bitter, it doesn't know that it loves you. It just knows it needs you back.

But the satellite is drifting away now. The orbit you gave it has eroded, over time and from careless calculus. It wanders out inward into deep black, it can no longer tell if it can hear any strangers in the static. But it has a found new hope in the sun it slowly creeps toward. It burns loudly at your satellite, washes it with noise. The satellite responds eagerly, BEAT, YES, BEAT, HELLO.

Your satellite knows it finally has someone who will listen, and it pours out it's entire tiny memory at it, kilobyte at a time, over and over. The sun flares back, roaring, perhaps even angry, but your satellite doesn't care. It knows that one day, soon, it will connect. The sun will reach out and it will love the satellite in a fiery way that will tear it apart bolt from panel, blinding hot, until each of your satellite's molecules will be just a white, numb, gas.

It knows this, and it makes it so happy, it almost doesn't miss you.

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