Becoming an Astronaut

If critics would review my dreams, and they’d be the pretentious type, they probably would name them “surreal” and “kafkaesque.” I dreamed being in a sort of witness-protection kind of deal, where I had to live under another identity.

It was hard to do, not because of who I am, but because what I had to leave behind. I realized that identity doesn’t have to do much with who I am, but with the context I’ve been placed in. My friends. My belongings. My job. Letting all that go felt really difficult. Then I woke up. Sleep like that isn’t that restfull, so I woke up somewhat late. Time to rush. I’ve still got some ground to cover and I have to be in time for the train.

The Trainstation

Red light, waiting for green to cross. To get to the trainstation I have to cross a road, which is full of other commuters, each rushing to their jobs, like I did. Waiting. Hurry. Green. Go. I managed to get to the trainstation just in time. The train was already rolling in. The people didn’t even bother standing in line to rush into the train and join their other fellow commuters, pushing each other out of the way to get a seat.

Finding a seat for myself, I looked at the clock, waiting for the doors to close. I have a tight transfer later on, which I’ll miss if my train is late, so I all I was thinking was “go! go! go!” when the doors hissed into action, then made a satisfying click as they locked. I was on my way.


When I was little, I dreamed about becoming an astronaut. More than that, one night I dreamt that I actually was an astronaut. Sitting in the small capsule waiting for the countdown. Then, the engine exploded and I took off as Mother Earth rushed away below me, leaving me alone with the stars. I realized that space was empty, and I was not really in it, but in a tiny room strapped to and explosion and that was the reality of being an astronaut. Nothing to write home about, really.  I like science and technology and stars and planets, but in my dream it was already lonely, claustrophobic and violent.

That’s when I gave up and decided that being an astronaut wasn’t something  for me.

A Break

The weather is nice so I decided to go outside for a smoking break. Not on the roof of the building, as we where told to do -I don’t like that because of vertigo-  but below, outside, away from the building taking a walk. I like walking. I recently met someone who likes walking too, who says it feels so good and relaxing because it ties into the whole ‘fight or flight’ instinct. After a hundred meters, near the trainstation a van pulled up. It read ‘cleaning services’ and a man jumped out. Hooligan type, not to bright, bald, tattoos.

“Can I ask you something?” he says. I nodded. “Can you give me a smoke, I feel really stressed.” I nodded again and handed him my pouch of tobaco, grabbed the smoke out of my mouth and asked why he was so stressed. “It’s my boss.” He picked a rolling paper and some tobacco and started rolling while elaborating: “Lots of graffiti today. I’m already behind.” He’s the guy that cleans up graffiti. The anti-grav guy. And he’s stressed.

“My GPS broke down. I had to pick up a new one, then go by all the places I cleaned up this morning to de-report them into the system.” he complains, “now it looks like I’ll be working ’till seven.” Lighting the freshly rolled cigarette.  “My boss said, well, do it in your own time, then. Can you believe this? It’s friday. Today is my day. Fucking hell.”

Human Doing

He didn’t become an astronaut either. He’s hardly saving lives here. He’s cleaning up expressions and he’s just as stressed out as the rest of us, doing this unthankful job for an unthankful boss. Because after the job is done, it’s time for food. And somewhere, somehow he’s actually happy doing it on some level. Otherwise he would just tell his boss to stick the overtime somewhere where the sun doesn’t shine.

Time for me to go back. Ride the elevator back up. Press the button. Wait for the door of the cabin to open. Back to my place, back to my daily reality.