The Marie Surveys
‘I completely failed to touchdown,’ I told my girlfriend last week as she slept, ‘you wouldn’t believe the pressure I’m under to bring back soil samples.’ I dream of showing her my parking-orbit technique and sharing with her the indescribable views of the Ocean of Storms – but she can know nothing of my unmanned moon activity. My only solace? I write her intimate letters. Not one reaches her, of course – I signed a binding confidentiality agreement. To date there are approximately 600 epistles mouldering in a directory known as the ‘Marie Surveys’. There’s hope my girlfriend will intuit what’s going on. Tonight after dinner I made meteor-like orbits around her in the kitchen and she told me she experienced these as hovering. Sometimes I almost falter. This is followed by a visit to the workplace psychologist, Wendy. The flare of desperation in her voice as she cautions me against disclosure reminds me of being in the control room when senior staff are under immense pressure to ground a cadet-less spacecraft.