It had been three years since they heard from me, I had been so afraid to tell them I’d escaped the closet they had unknowingly locked me in. But here they were, searching for me, afraid for me, needing to know I was okay. I was better than okay, I told them. I was finally happy, living my life. When I reconnected with my family, I told them the truth, because that’s what you do for the people you love. They feigned acceptance at first, but then it became clear: their religion proclaimed that my death would have been better news. It’s ten years later: they search no longer, afraid of me, the deadly rainbow in their black and white world. I still love them, but they’re too busy mourning the death of someone who never existed, the shadow in a dark closet. Family unable to see the light.
The emperor looked on proudly as his daughter surveyed the massive fleet hangar, thousands of new star destroyers gleaming.
“Why do spaceships always look so phallic?” the princess finally said. “It’s space. Ships don’t need to be aerodynamic in space, just balanced around their center of gravity.”
The admirals looked uncomfortable under her gaze.
“Well, uhm,” a four-star attempted.
The princess waved his explanation away as she turned to leave. “If it wasn’t for testosterone, we wouldn’t need these damn things.”
One of the ironies of my life, living in the Pacific Northwest, where the water is iceberg-cold on the hottest days, are the beaches of Ocean City, Maryland, where I nearly met my premature end drowning at the impressionable age of four or five. Despite still harboring an irrational fear of swimming decades later from this unfortunate start, I still pine for the childhood days of half-buried siblings, silicon castles, creosote smelling boardwalks, splashing surf and heavenly cheeseburgers crunchy with windblown sand.
Life can be funny that way.