My mobile phone rings. I wake up to see Mum on the screen. Oh no! What am I going to hear now? Haven’t called for a long time. First it will be the recriminations: “Why do I have to call you for news, why don’t you do call me yourself? I was so anxious. I am always anxious when you don’t give me news. You know it!” Yes, I know it, but when I call, it is to hear complaints about me not calling often enough, or about neighbors not being nice enough, about mum’s life not being like she had wished it were, politicians being… politicians. And I can’t say even one word. “Don’t you have anything to say?” she always asks at the end. I wish I did, but after 30 minutes, I don’t want to talk anymore. These calls are so demoralizing. But today, I won’t let it get that way. I am going to stop her. A big breath. One more.
– Hello Mum, I have great news for you!
– Beth, I was anxious. Why don’t you call me from time to time?
– Mum I won the lottery!
– I won the lottery!
– What lottery? Don’t tell me you won that stupid space travel thing!
– Oh, I’m afraid I did. Actually, I’m not afraid at all. I feel very happy! Mum it will be fantastic. It’s my dream. My biggest dream. Since forever. You know it is!
– But Beth, you can’t do it. You mustn’t. I forbid you! It’s dangerous. Haven’t you heard all those things about space travellers? They become mad. They lose their minds.
– Oh Mum, they’re just stories. Babble from fearful people. There is absolutely no evidence of any big trouble with space travel. Nothing real, anyway. Nothing proved! Thousands of people have done it already. There are plenty of testimonies. It’s…
– Listen to me sweetheart. I won’t let you go!
– No, you listen to me Mum. You’ll never stop me.
– Please darling…,
– Mum, if you want, I will bring you someone who has travelled to space. You will see for yourself if this person is mad or not.
– I’ve chatted with some Snoopers you know. We can have a video conference with one of them.
– Oh you’ve never seen one of them for real, have you?
– They are real people in a real time video stream, Mum, not cartoons or puppets.
– They could be liars.
– They could be honest.
– I will show you files a friend of mine sent me a few months ago.
– You don’t know him
– Beth, I have to go now. Take care sweetheart. We’ll talk about this another time. Bye.
She hung up on me!
You see? Always negative. And elusive too. I am so angry now. She is going to search for everything she is able to find against space travel. She won’t spare herself. But the fact is, there is nothing. Nothing serious. She thinks it’s about the drugs. But, those who think it is just a matter of drugs are the mad ones. We have testimonies from those who have returned describing entire civilizations. Drug ravings would be more confused. It’s true, you are given a catalyzer. It awakens each person’s travel ability and they can go. Everybody has this ability, but it is a dormant one. The catalyzer is a complex gas which works only under specific conditions. It is why you need those conditioned units, where temperature, hygrometry, pressure and air composition are strictly controlled. And that is why all this is so expansive. I wonder if I will be a good traveller, one of those that can go far, far away.
But for the moment, I think I will go for a walk. To calm down. I really need it.