When I was four, I kept having dreams that I could fly. I asked how I might be able to achieve that and when I clarified via description that by fly I meant float, I was told, “astronaut.” So for several years I wanted to be an astronaut.
Then when I was six or seven my mom attempted to explain–because I asked–how time would warp at the kind of speeds we would likely be talking about come the kind of serious space travel that wasn’t possible yet but should be soon, and how what would pass as a year for me could be fifty on earth. When I finally grasped it I was horrified. “You mean I could leave for a year and…and you’d be dead?” I asked. “I’d be long in the ground,” she replied. “You could leave and I’d be dead?” “No, you’d probably just…have grandchildren, maybe. Great-grandchildren.”
I saw her fascination with books like Contact and made her promise never, ever to leave me like that. I had nightmares of her disappearing and me seeing her again when I had a cane–looking just like my mom the way I knew her, but she was now younger than me. I would shoot down the hall in the middle of the night like a rocket and fling myself into my parents’ bed, wordlessly sniffling until I fell back into uneasy sleep. When Flight of the Navigator came on TV I turned it off as soon as Fred Savage’s family finds him, his baby brother now almost out of high school and his parents in tears. It wasn’t fair. It wasn’t right. Years of your life shouldn’t be torn away from you like that, away from others.
And, man, you can imagine my reaction to this.
So this new Interstellar trailer has me wobbly already:
Every time he says he’s coming back I want to howl.