Why Build A Space Ship?

Article by Nnenna Izegbu

You are obliviously wearing a space suit to the beach
Everyone is out on the sand, enjoying the sun, while persistently asking you, the astronaut, “Why aren’t you having fun?”
You can’t quite answer them properly, as all you know is what you feel:
alone and out of touch
Everyday you visit the beach
Everyday you unknowingly wear the suit
Everyday you are damned

After awhile, you are locked in a dense fog, and all that reigns are your bleak thoughts

No beachgoer can see you through your reflecting helmet
But you see them
Some glance, some look, some stare
It’s a wonder if they truly want to see you or their own reflection?
One can never be sure
What you are sure of, is that you are all alone
The only feeling that remains is whole indifference

An injustice, this invisible astronaut suit is, to your spirit
Because, joys:
Feeling the sun on your skin,
Taking a walk,
Well, those are now gargantuan grueling tasks, not simple pleasures

You don’t know how to take off the suit,
because, to you, its not really there
You aren’t feeling much of anything anymore
So you sit by the water
The waves rush back and forth
And the beachgoers strike the volleyball across the net
And the sun moves east to west

You remain still
Day in
Day out
Sweating solitarily
In your astronaut suit

When you do have an inkling that all is not what it seems
You rush home and frantically search your closet
There, all by yourself, you start to realize that past fashions no longer apply
They can’t hold the weight
Or mold to the shape of what you have become
And somehow this conclusion seems so obvious now
You have the feeling you have tried searching this closet before
And each time, to no avail
So you head back to the beach

The days wear on, in your bubble
And interactions between you and the beachgoers are still blocked by the thick pesky suit
You barely understand what they say to you
Quite frankly, you don’t care to know at this point
You wake up everyday looking for reasons to keep going, despite the pains
And a big chunk of the time you come up empty-handed
Yet, somehow, sometimes, through it all,
There has always been an option
You look up at the stars
And decide to build a space ship

You quickly decide your ship needs only one type of fuel: perspective
So you murmur quietly to yourself, in the driver’s seat
“Everyday can’t be a beach.”

Suddenly, you find yourself up in the stars
You marvel at how far you have come in such a brief moment
You see the beach from high above
And all that was, now seems so distant
Even the beach doesn’t seem so bad anymore
On a day like this you think to yourself, in peace,
“How lucky am I? To simply be alive.”