This essay was written for The Medium Writers Challenge: Space.
When I was younger, my Mama had the habit of talking to herself. It wasn’t so much questions like, “Where did I put that?” as so much full-blown conversations, complete with responses like “Um hmms” “Say what?” and “Chile.” I watched her carry these conversations while cooking, on her bed, or driving in the car. Like everyone else in the house, I wondered: Who was she talking to?
Although my siblings made fun of our Mama’s conversations with herself, they comforted me because I did the same. I’m not sure if I picked it up from her or if it was more innate. I was a spiritual child though I didn’t have the language at the time to explain that.
After moving to the country, I spent most of my time in nature listening to the birds sing, watching the clouds pass, and gazing at the night sky. When I was troubled or frustrated, I would ask the wind, the trees, or the sky a question and a voice, no louder than a thought, would answer. None of this felt demonic or supernatural, but a natural and easy sort of communication.
My high school automotive teacher told us that the universe and an atom have the same structure. That this was proof that the Christian God created us all and that God was worthy of all the praise. I never fact-checked him about the structural similarity, but I loved the idea that God even considered me. Lucky that on a basic level, God thought me worthy of being composed the same as the universe.
Now that I’m older and a bit more audacious, I wonder why we assign all this magic and mystery to space, but not to ourselves? If we’re all made of the same basic material, then my body could hold multiple and varied universes. My body is vast, complex, and powerful and could grant me access to travel across time and space.
At eight years old, I laid in the bed of a trailer under the pine trees and watched the clouds morph. It was summer. School was in a few weeks, and I wanted to know who’d I have as my third-grade teacher. Closing my eyes, I saw a woman’s face. She was white, older, maybe in her fifties, with short brown hair. I had never seen her before.
Upon meeting her, she had short blonde hair, but the image of her face traveled through space to arrive to…