Six Things They Don’t Have In Space

by James Sweeney

An excerpt from our issue Nonsense Goes To Space!

The Gaping Birth Canal.
The Airless Tomb.
Home to Everything
But Not These Things

1. Racism

Believe it or not, there is simply no racism in Space. There is zero racism in Space. Sure, people are dicks sometimes, but there’s not much you can really do about that. There’s one guy – Arthur – he’s a practicing Episcopalian. Some of us are a bit wary of him. Susan thinks he’s a pseudo-intellectual, and kind of weird around women, and I can definitely see what she’s getting at. He just likes to wink at inappropriate times I think, it’s really not that big of a deal. I just – he’s not someone I can really talk to for longer than a few minutes. I feel like he tries too hard to relate to whatever emotional state I’m in at the time, but I can tell that for him those kinds of interactions don’t come super naturally. It’s kind of sad, honestly.  Anyway, Arthur is half-Filipino and half-Cuban, so if you’re looking for someone to call a racist, look elsewhere.

“There must be at least a few racists in Space!” you’re probably saying to yourself. Well, stop saying that, because it’s patently false. There was a very thorough vetting process before we boarded the Space Bus, and there was a sheet handed out with like, seven questions about racism, and everyone I’ve met so far has assured me that they answered them all truthfully; that’s how I know that there are no racists in Space.

2. White People

I’m not saying there was a flier in the window that read No Whiteys or anything like that, but I could kind of tell from the minute I stepped on the bus that I was more-or-less freed from the Earthly displeasures of Imagine Dragons. There were like three or four different boxes on the Gettin’ to Know Ya worksheet where you could fill out your race; Susan thinks it was to trick all the moronic white idiots into revealing their race to the strong Bus Driver, and I definitely think her perspective there is, at the very least, a valid one. None of us have any gripes with white people or anything, I hope it doesn’t sound like that – I actually don’t even know why they aren’t allowed on this bus. I guess they just wanted this to be a good trip or something. Now before anybody gets up in arms, just know that I actually found some of them to be pretty fun back on Earth. Drew Carey was pretty funny. Ellen Degeneres was pretty fun and funny, I thought. Barack Obama’s mom did right by all of us. But Space just has a totally different vibe. Everyone I’ve talked to up here seems to agree that whites just wouldn’t fit in. I mean, between the hours a day we all spend shredding rhythmic instruments, cooking with actual spices, and not feeling entitled to assert some unearned savior role to every situation that requires the slightest amount of leadership or rationality, there really doesn’t seem like a lot of room for them. Again, no offense to the Tighty Whitey, Bright-Skin Bleach Babies. I sincerely hope you enjoy the remnants of an Earth your elder whiteys destroyed.  

3. Guns

Yeah we just straight up didn’t bring any guns into Space with us. We could have, there was some room on the bus, but we just didn’t. Leaving all our guns on White Earth seemed like a good idea at the time, and an even better one now that I have a hunch that Susan was the one behind the carvings under the lunch table. It’s not that I’m angry, or that I would ever actually use a gun on somebody else, or anything like that. I just feel lied to. Arthur tried to take the blame for her, I’m guessing in order to win her over, except he completely screwed it up and just kept winking at me. I’m still really not sure what the full truth is, because when he came forward and admitted that he was the one who used a paring knife to fashion the sentence, “Susan is the most beautiful full-blooded Latina woman I’ve ever seen,” onto our collapsible eatery, she immediately started hamming up that same old Woe Is Me, I’ve Got A Space-Stalker! act she loves to put on. It was just all too convenient, and I couldn’t help but roll my eyes. Now I’m even more glad that we didn’t bring a single firearm into Space with us – this Susan lady is a loose cannon, and I’ve found it continuously more difficult to predict how and when her next manipulation will come.

4. School Shootings

There hasn’t been one yet. Probably because we have no guns and no emotionally repressed Caucasian guys. We also technically have no students at all, though Arthur claims to be a lifelong student of military psychological torture techniques and the ways we puppeteer our loss of self.

5. Children

Right, so if you didn’t catch that earlier, we didn’t bring anybody under the age of 24. I don’t make the rules, I just happen to work well within them in this case. So be it. Am I upset that there are no kids? No, not really. God forbid they have to grow up around the daily trauma that is Susan’s morning pap smear and Arthur’s mid-day scream.

Some other people in their twenties would be cool I guess, but that’s not such a big deal either. Susan is 43, though she looks quite good for her age. Still taut in many of the right ways, I could see myself with Susan sexually if we were back on Earth. Arthur is 33, and I cannot see myself with him sexually, because I don’t find him attractive.

6. Sex

So yeah, there’s no kids and there never will be because some people whose names rhyme with Zusan and Carthur don’t feel like conceiving a child. There is no chance that the three of us, trapped on this cruise-controlled cosmic paddy wagon forever, are going to be able to pass on all that we’ve learned unless somebody whose good with nunchuks makes loves to somebody else who just happens to have a tattoo of the 90s Phoenix Suns logo on her lower back.

There are obviously pros and cons to all of this. I think I’m holding it together better than most people would be, but I suppose I don’t have as much to look forward to as I thought I would on this once-in-a-lifetime/rest-of-a-lifetime trip through the very star particles that created the dinosaurs. I’m still in awe of this opportunity –I really do think it’s amazing– but I can’t let go of the fact that I’ll never again enjoy the idea of growing older and seeing how the world around me changes. I’ll never be a parent. I’ll never fall in love with a shy but beautiful co-worker, only to have it end tragically and suddenly, following an investigation by our company’s internal affairs division. I’ll never have any of those things now, and that’s alright. They’re silly dreams to have ever held so close, let alone now that I’ve reached this current and final stage of life. These days, I look forward to two things and two things only: watching beautiful, wild Susan age; and watching Arthur lose his mind as we pass through the iris of an infinite night.