Of orbits and satellites

Why do people have to be this lonely? What’s the point of it all? Millions of people in this world, all of them yearning, looking to others to satisfy them, yet isolating themselves. Why? Was the earth put here just to nourish human loneliness?

I turned faceup on the slab of stone, gazed at the sky, and thought about all the man-made satellites spinning around the earth. The horizon was still etched in a faint glow, and stars began to blink on in the deep, wine-colored sky. I gazed among them for the light of a satellite, but it was still too bright out to spot one with the naked eye. The sprinkling of stars looked nailed to the spot, unmoving. I closed my eyes and listened carefully for the descendants of Sputnik, even now circling the earth, gravity their only tie to the planet. Lonely metal souls in the unimpeded darkness of space, they meet, pass each other, and part, never to meet again. No words passing between them. No promises to keep.

There are people who orbit the earth, keeping it at a distance. People like me. Not much by choice, but more of not knowing how to do things differently. There is a natural force that ties us to the earth, making us orbit around it. But at the same time, there is a natural force that keeps us away. Thus, we float. Oftentimes, unnoticed. 

Reading Murakami, I always feel a sense of anxiety and comfort at the same time. It’s like cutting up open an imaginary vein exposing everything. What seemed little proved to be vast. What was kept hidden needed to be acknowledged.  

But knowing that I may not be alone in this rut gives me relief, my silver lining. It comes with the hope that someday, there might be someone who can understand and peel off the layers of an invisible yet impermeable second skin. I choose to believe that this story ended in the same vein.

We’re both looking at the same moon, in the same world. We’re connected to reality by the same line. All I have to do is quietly draw it toward me.

Someone will pull me out of my orbit and will draw me closer to the earth. That someone exists. I have to believe in that.

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