Updated: Jan 17, 2020
I’m not quite sure who I am. I don’t do much, don’t know much, and I don’t need to. I know literally everything about levitating scooters and cruisers, and as the top salesperson at the biggest dealer on Mars, I sell more than anyone on the planet. That’s about all I know.
My salary is modest, but enough for mom and me to live comfortably on our Martian homestead near Valles Marineris. With dad dead and my twin brother missing in action, I‘m all the immediate family mom has left, and I‘m not about to leave her for the military adventure my uncle promises. Adventure always struck me as a scam beyond the context of novels and movies. Maybe I’m a simple person, but the quiet life feels right. I miss the everyday moments of life as a child, just being in the present. That sense of stability gave way to chaos when we left Earth in my late teens.
Now after a couple decades on Mars, the memories of living on our origin planet feel more like the desperate delusions of my lucid dreams. I managed to build something of an idyllic life for us, but I can’t shake a growing sense of impending return to chaos. As mom’s health deteriorates and my few friends leave the planet for work and love, I feel trapped between a past that haunts my nightmares, and the fear of an unknowable future.
I’ve been awake for several minutes, lying in bed and flipping through my physical photo album to take my mind off how fucking awful I feel every time I wake up. I touch the corners of pages worn into wrinkled curves by many thousands of these morning journeys through their secrets. Everyone said I was insane for keeping so much of my childhood memorabilia, when every ounce matters in space. But I was stubborn and we had the money, and some things can’t be replaced. It wasn’t just photos; I had diaries, I had drawings and stories scribbled out on scrap pieces of paper. I had solid-state drives, already outdated tech when I first used them, with my favorite songs and hundreds of hours of home video and even more stories. I kept a clay cast of my own tiny handprint, which I pai