A Rather Boring and Uninteresting View From Space

The Ancients sat on their celestial thrones, bored, a million light years from Earth, scanning space for something to watch. Ah, a new year on Earth, one curmudgeonly Ancient mumbled, then farted. The gas  briefly stretched across the universe, cloudy and bright. A teenager on magic mushrooms, sitting on a large rock next to the Pacific Ocean, thought he saw a galaxy appear and then quickly disappear, but his friend told him, dude, you’re just trippin’. This year, I hope they figure out how to stop being so cruel to each other, a particularly hopeful Ancient mused… the others all laughed. Do you mean those commenters on YouTube? The youngest Ancient asked. The assembly of Ancients all turned and scowled and heckled the youngster. The head Ancient, the most ancient of them all, put the youngest on timeout… which is what led to the spotting of a black hole by a husband and wife team of astronomers in Berkeley.  To celebrate, they went out to a vegan restaurant and split a glass of white wine. To us, they cheered, but couldn’t toast because there was only one glass… Once the youngest ancient was safely disposed to the black hole the rest held a debate. Was the war in Syria or the burning of fossil fuels (old dinosaurs, haha, they guffawed, remember them?) a bigger problem for this little planet? After hours of argument, there was no consensus, but they all agreed that if we, humans (like me), went extinct our little planet would be a lot better off… Remember how Mars was with all those awful Martians? One Ancient said, and the others all murmured agreement. The saddest Ancient, who wasn’t involved in the debate at all, rose from a dying star he’d been sitting behind and said, I don’t think they’re so bad, Earthlings… I just think it’s so hard for them to understand each other. The other Ancients, used to this sad one’s ramblings, ignored him. A particularly angry Ancient took the last drag of his lit cigarette and tossed it into deep space, the embers flaring across eternity. A couple on a rooftop in Brooklyn, New York gasped at what they thought was a shooting star. They felt special indeed. The man turned toward his girlfriend and immediately professed his love for her, holding her hand like it was fine glass, gentle and lovingly. The Ancients, even the angry one, all felt a little tenderness to this couple and wished for  their happiness. Earth proceeded to celebrate the New Year by shooting off colorful explosives and it was the only time the Ancients spent a significant amount of time staring at our little spinning rock. Some said the effect was the same as when they blow each other up in war… the Earthlings. A boring, uninteresting Ancient went to bed before the 24-hour viewing was done and the others, in a spirit of revelry, and, also, because they couldn’t stand that one particular Ancient, painted his face a bright orange, so that on January 1st, down on Earth, a hard-working Japanese astronomer thought there was a new star that formed overnight and announced his find on social media. The Ancient that had been pranked woke up and yelled at the others, then washed off the paint. When this “new star” was no longer in the sky on January 2nd, that Japanese astronomer was fired and, in shame, he committed Hari Kari… He left behind no family. The Ancients felt a little responsible, but then got bored with those feelings — it was just one little Earthling after all — and started watching the 17th moon of Sextet Centauri, where a tiny organism with a just a trace bit of ganglia was beginning to evolve from heated sulfur vents. Worm-like and wiggling. Curious. They laughed at the creature struggling to be. A rather funny Ancient said, little fucker doesn’t know what he’s in for!

Happy New Year, everybody…



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