Thursday, February 16, 2006


As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I had some strange childhood dreams (e.g. a corporate NY career girl, complete with grey skirt suit and white tennies; a carpenter, just like Jesus; etc. etc. and so forth). Of all of them, perhaps my most unoriginal aspiration was to be an astronaut.

I’ve always had a thing for space. I love staring up into the firmament, especially while lying flat on the ground, and feeling myself being sucked up into its infinite vastness. It’s like reverse vertigo, a queasy yet fantastic elation, which sounds masochistic (but which I'm guessing is common – isn’t it??).

My best friend and I promised each other that we would be the first women to land on Jupiter when we grew up. I was so disappointed when I learned in 5th grade science that its gaseous makeup would prevent a landing of any sort. I looked into NASA programs where I could at least experience weightlessness (the driving force, I now suspect, behind this whole fantasy) but did not find anything suitable for a 10-year old civilian from Tokyo. At that point, I resigned myself to the drab reality that the closest I would ever come to space would be Hollywood sci-fi flicks (a tragedy for the most part, for the better the effects are, the worse the story seems to get).

Stay with me here, I’m getting to the point. Recently, I went to a friend’s place and found that he has one of those NASA weightlessness trainers in his back yard. In his back yard, people. You know the one I’m talking about. You get strapped into a contraption resembling an elliptical swing, which rotates in every direction. As it throws you into crazy, random 3-dimensional orbit, you try not to let your eyes bounce around too much inside their sockets, leading you to recreate the famous vomiting sequence from Poltergeist.

In reality, it didn’t swing so ferociously as to cause projectile spewing. In fact, because you are controlling the thing, it hardly rotates at all at first. But once you’re strapped down and clued in, you just can’t stop. You’re throwing yourself in all directions, shouting “Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!” and it’s the bestest, funnest game I’ve played since they put that decrepit wooden see-saw with all the splinters in my local park 25 years ago.

I had such an incredible high after that session and it lasted all day long. Never expected to have my childhood dream fulfilled quite like that.


Blogger teahouse said...

Oh gosh..that sounds like my entire life as it has been for the past month!

6:17 AM  
Blogger e! said...

Well, in that case you might be the luckiest girl in the world!

This is what they mean when they say "be careful what you wish for"...

5:15 PM  

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