Go for launch!
I’ve always known that secretly Apollo 13 is one of my favorite movies; but I can never remember what happens in it (except something bad) so I have refrained from ever declaring that. However, as I sit here watching it (!!!!!) I have decided that it is definitely one of my faves.
When I was little, I wanted to be an astronaut. More than anything. I wanted to look out a window and see infinity or to see the earth humbly and magnificently outside of its atmosphere. This all changed when I took a trip to OMSI and realized that to be an astronaut you’d have to have much better eyesight than I have.
Then one day I developed an uncontrollable, near-crippling fear of the deep ocean (I wrote a little about it here). Suddenly it occurred to me that if I was scared of the vastness of the ocean, how in the world did I ever think I could handle the universe? that scene in Titanic, where Rose pries Jack’s cold lifeless hands off of hers and he floats into the ocean, is what terrifies me. Something important – be it a life, a giant boat that took a lot of money to build, a huge rocket that is capable of transporting life into the unknown – suddenly being stripped of its vanity and importance and becoming the victim of the thing it was meant to conquer.
As I watched Tom Hanks ( ❤ ) prepare for launch (and Kevin Bacon, and some other guy?) I wondered what that must be like, to be so small sitting in a huge rocket thing, built at the hands of men who are not perfect. How terrifying. I was getting scared watching it. (Bill Paxton? Is that the other guys name?)
The moon is so beautiful, the stars magnificent. One day when we vision impaired folk are allowed to travel beyond the atmosphere, I hope to go. It would be the ultimate overcoming of my fears. I would spend the entire time unable to see, as my eyes would be overflowing with tears that floated into the air, most likely pissing off my fellow passengers.
Even still, I’d do so knowing that I could be the Titanic of outerspace – the indestructible, NASA-approved vehicle that gets side swiped by some debris from a previous mission, and then our oxygen starts leaking until we all are pulled out of our unsinkable space craft, our bodies destined to float around the universe much like the remains of the Titanic floated around the cold Atlantic.
In the end, liking a movie like Apollo 13 so much is a very definite act of masochism. But I will never watch Titanic, because at least the stars are beautiful.. which is more than could be said for whatever nightmares lie at the very bottom of the ocean.
This is Stephanie, signing off.