She said she wanted space. So I bought her a star.
Apparently owning a piece of the galaxy was not enough. Maybe it was too infinite for her. Could have fooled me based on how frequently she would stare off a million miles away all the time. Another classic miscommunication, a constant of our relationship.
It’s only a continuously churning nuclear reaction between hydrogen and helium, something you couldn’t just get at Target. Something that would outlive the both of us and any potential future generations we could create. I saw an eventual move to the suburbs, two or three kids, raising them with a priority on adventure, and she saw… well she didn’t like to talk about the future. No matter which road we went down, I knew S-1833245p would outlive us all, which made it appropriately versatile.
By the way, deciding on S-1833245p wasn’t some cheap impulse. I used everything I knew about her, at least the stuff she was willing to share. She abhorred fast fashion and other things that created waste for the environment. This star literally was the environment. She wanted experiences over stuff, and I figured we could spend time naming it together. She didn’t like the things at my place, and I don’t need to tell you, but I don’t have a star at my house.
I made sure to study clarity, cut, and color, before picking my celestial gift.
She constantly said I was being too thoughtful, so I am not sure why buying the universe’s best gift seemed to surprise and frustrate her so much. She asked if we could not see each other for a few days and I explained that, much like our precious S-1833245p, while I am not always visible and proximate, it doesn’t mean I am not there. She rolled her eyes, I assume to try to discreetly search the entire sky for the star, and then said, “More space. I’ll see you next week.”
“Not that kind of space,” and “more space” echoed back and forth in my head like a cruel game of rejection Pong.
No one was selling quasars or full-on constellations or even a quarter acre of the infinite inky black emptiness up there. Did she want to see me commit to more than an online purchase?
Then it hit me, like the violent collision of two supermassive black holes who are destined to be together. Everyone admires space, but it takes authenticity and drive to actually walk that space walk.
It worked for Ben Affleck in Armageddon, so why not me? The details were a little different, but I wasn’t going to let a little fine print keep me from space travel. Sure, I was selectively neglecting Affleck’s fate and that he got to play with animal crackers on his lover’s tummy before he went up, but those were the details that could only bring down someone who wondered if they were making a bad decision. Like my looming space walk at S-1833245p, I knew I was minimally tethered, this time by my own assuredness.
Luckily for my odyssey, billionaire businessmen had anticipated the universal problem of needing to prove one’s worth to others, and now they offer daily flights to space. I found a Houston to Deep Space flight that had a manageable layover at the International Space Station, meaning I could get to our star and back and still have time to pick up some animal crackers before seeing my love at week’s end.
I get pretty nauseous on roller coasters, so the G-force atmospheric exit was more business than pleasure.
But 24 hours later, I was aboard the ISS, and 16 hours after that, I was up close and personal to S-1833245p.
It shined like nothing I’d ever seen—and not in that way where everyone thinks their baby is cute even though about half of them are pretty weird looking. S-1833245p’s shine recalibrated my understanding of beauty, love, and life’s priorities. Floating face to face, it dawned how silly all the minutiae could be. This was my everything.
I wanted to have a million stars with this woman.