man on the moon

Eventually I walked around a bit and found it. It almost made me tender. There were no stars or stripes left. A piece of shabby, white cloth, with no more symbols.
Ironic, isn't it?
The cameras, the world live broadcast, the small steps for mankind, the great leaps for humanity and what is left? A crumpled rag.
We will not plant flags.
We came here to the moon to use it as a base for travel to Mars.
And after Mars we will go further, because knowledge and curiosity never feed.
Perhaps our grandchildren will be the first to be born on another planet.
Perhaps we will have to tell the Earth to him, sitting on a torn armchair, near a fireplace with a fire burning. We will tell him that space had frightened us for a very long time. Then at some point we decided to turn that fear into energy and ...
My second tapped me on the shoulder.
I turn around and give him the worst of looks. It scared me.
But he has the most serene face in the world and he smiles at me from inside his helmet.
With his arm he points to the Earth behind us.
A perfectly illuminated blue sphere, which stands out in the surrounding darkness.
A few white swarms of clouds try to dirty that blue, but without succeeding in the least.
384.400 kilometers away and I feel like I can touch it.
To be able to reach out and take those clouds, with index finger and thumb.
Move them, to leave only the majestic blue.
"How the fuck is she beautiful from here?" my second asks me.
"Yeah," I reply. And without my being able to do anything to avoid it, tears of emotion congregate in my left eye, forcing me to look away, so much is the pain.
You must never cry in space and I have made the levity of forgetting it.
"We have to connect the cables," I tell my second, who immediately gets to work.
The Earth is behind us again.
Before us darkness and rocks.
We couldn't ask for better.
The bright future we are planning will stand out in contrast.


To the Moon is the backpack that inspired this story by Mattia Grossi