The Space Station Vacuum
I vomit for seven hours. You are nervous, she says. She is my wife. I am nervous, I say. I am agreeing. I am an agreeing person. And I am the man vomiting. My body is not agreeing with me, not anymore, no—not right now. They will bomb a village in Africa, Maurice says. It is a fair exchange, Hank says. Where is Africa, he asks. He is my son. He is always referred to as “he”—it was an agreement, another agreement, made under external pressure, coercion, really. She says he is my son, I consider later and even earlier, I did consider that earlier, once. I vomit again and I count to twenty-seven. I am on the floor, on a marble floor, I am in the bathroom. Twenty-seven? It is not so arbitrary a number, she says. She is my wife again. A person known as "she" more often than "her", and rarely as dear. There are twenty-seven men and women in the space station that is hovering around the earth. I have never been in space but I am told it is a vacuum and I am also told that there is very little air, perhaps no air at all, inside a vacuum. I cannot imagine a place where I couldn’t breathe, Maurice says. He is laughing. He is arrogant. It is really a fair exchange, Hank says again. They did not bomb the village in Africa because of the space station, Sally chuckles, but it was a logical incentive. It has already been bombed? Of course. The time is six forty-five. I cannot believe I am asking questions. I should not be asking questions. Of course it is fairly inaccurate to assume that the progressive argument would continue, would indeed surpass action. That is quite foolish, I admit, in private, only to my wife. This was the illogical particulars of events. I am in lack of a direct response, Cheryl responded, to an eager and overzealous press corps. However, I would be most interested in a hearty debate. Yet, privately, and most awkwardly, there was a sense that the general and prior flow of water, indeed any substance controlled by gravity, was not an act of logic, at this time. Like a vacuum, she asks. She is correct. Yes, exactly like a vacuum. How, I wonder, again senseless and without aid, did action become a vacuum—no!—how did the process of act and actor (combined to create action) fall under the control of a vacuum. We have a vacuum cleaner, he says and I am convinced, most certainly, he is not apparent in his resemblance to me. No, it is not possible. We could trade the passengers aboard the US Station 1BC to the African Union in exchange for a non-bombing non-binding agreement. It is a classy idea, it may even be genius. I am unafraid of admitting this fact. I am convinced of this fact. There are only so many children in the village and the act of bombing would create very little aches and pains and actual deaths—well, no, it would cause many deaths. Here are the pictures. These are projections, I suppose, wonder, voice. Fool! It was already an act. I vomit again. The actions inside a vacuum are most peculiar. Oh, outside it is already cold and dark and the view of earth, so tiny and so round makes me homesick. There are twenty six men and women in a space station, she says. You mean twenty-seven. No, she says, and he was not particularly fond of the vacuum cleaner.