Love Letter from an Uncertain Satellite

Photo by Vladyslav Dushenkovskyi on

I’m about to pour my heart out here. And it’s almost certainly the worst possible timing because you’re about to wake up wanting drugs (sorry for mentioning them) and feeling like shit because you have wisely decreed that you are done with them. So your initial response to my sincere, heart-felt out-pouring may very well be something closer to annoyance than sympathy. But I am too overwhelmed by you to articulate these things in person, and besides that, there may never be a good time to say this. It may be one of those things that is better left unsaid. And yet I feel strongly, perhaps perversely, driven to say it anyway.

So here it is, in cumbersome analogy form:

You are a very dynamic person. You meet people and collect friends everywhere you go. People notice you. You’re interesting and exciting. You have a strong gravitational pull. And you have pulled me in like so many others before me. 

I walk into the local pub, or anywhere else where people know me, and they say, “Hey Anais. How’s it going? Are you looking for Henry?” Because they know that I am just a satellite in your orbit. Without you, I am a useless rock drifting in space.

But I love being in your orbit. I love being near you. You’re full of life and light and darkness, oceans of wonder and peaks of brilliance, gritty deserts and stormy seas. You’re an irresistible paradox of harsh glaciers and erupting magma. I love everything about you.

So I want to be one of your satellites. But there are many different types of satellites, with various purposes and levels of significance. There’s the International Space Station, which is interesting and intellectually stimulating, and important enough to be spelled with capital letters. There are countless other man-made objects used to bounce cell phone signals off of, which are not particularly exciting, but quite indispensable, nonetheless, and worth keeping around as acquaintances. There is an abundance of young, attractive rocks drifting about, many of which will inevitably get close enough to burst into a flaming shooting star, brilliantly beautiful and fascinating for a moment before burning out. And there’s a lot of space trash, formerly useful but now defunct hunks of space ships and dead satellites that will eventually have to be disposed of somehow, but can mostly just be muted on facebook for now.

But secretly, in my deepest, darkest moments of tightly guarded hubris, I want to be the moon. The one that will always be there, my face forever turned toward you. I’ll keep the tides ebbing and flowing so dependably that you don’t even have to think about them. I’ll be invisible when there are brighter, more interesting things to occupy your attention, like the sun or a meteor shower, or when you’re feeling cloudy and stormy. But once in a while, if you feel like it, you can gaze at me for a minute, and know that I’m gazing back at you. And even when you are surrounded by clouds, I’ll peek through them sometimes, just to check on you and let you know I’m there if you want me.

You can colonize me and mine me for metals. Delve into my depths for exploratory or experimental purposes. Use my craters as convenient cum dumpsters and urinals for any and all pollutants you wish to excrete. Exploit me in any way you see fit.

That’s my dream. To be a moon. Not even the moon, necessarily. A heavenly celestial body such as yourself can have more than one moon. But something that’s always there, that’s at least a little bit useful, and that is occasionally noticed. My greatest fear, my nightmare, is that I will someday become space trash, and have to be rounded up with the rest and flung out to the cold, dead edge of the solar system to make room for more desirable objects.

I want to make myself as useful as possible. I want to give you all that I have that’s of any value and I want to swallow every drop of whatever you wish me to take. 

I want to be worthy of remaining in your orbit.

Maybe I’m being insecure. Maybe I’m being realistic. But I genuinely have no idea whether I am a moon for you, or just a thing to keep your cell phone working, on my way to space trashdom once the inevitable obsolescence sets in. And I’m rather terrified that it’s a Schrodinger’s Cat situation, and that opening the box to find the answer will trigger my obsolescence.

So, all analogies aside, that is my quandary. I want to be something special to you and I don’t know if I am. Ignorance is bliss only if you’re a laid-back person, which I am not. So I worry about it and I wonder. But now I just want to know. One way or the other.

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