“This part is my favorite,” Keri says, leading her mother up the stairs to the observation deck. The room is gray and empty apart from a single row of metal chairs, just as gray as the room itself. It’s quiet here, the only sound a slow whir of ventilation banks on the wall. And there, through one large pane of protected glass, is the Earth. Home in a flat black sky. “It feels better to see it sometimes,” Keri tells her mother. “Then you don’t feel so far away.”
There’s another soldier in the room, and he’s quiet too. People rarely talk when they’re here – not because they’re not allowed, but just because it’s better that way. Keri’s mother stares out into the blackness, Earth in its three-quarters view. It takes some getting used to, that this isn’t the moon in the sky you’re looking at. It’s the other way around.
“I’ll show you the terrarium next,” Keri says.
But her mother is stunned by the view. She’s entranced. That’s normal. Everyone is like that the first time. She finally turns, her eyes full of more wonder than Keri has ever seen in them, like she was a child and not the old woman she actually is. “I didn’t know there was a terrarium.”
“Yeah,” Keri says. “There’s birds and plants there too. And even rain sometimes. It doesn’t smell like real rain though. I can tell the difference.”
– Keri, from a not yet titled chapter of Lakeside Heights
notes: this one was taken in the photo gallery of the National Air and Space Museum, and believe me, when you go all the way to the National Air and Space Museum to take pictures of metal chairs, you get some really strange looks, lol!
But it was sitting in those chairs, and looking at photos of the Earth from space, and the gray tile and walls all reminded me of my moon base from my LH story, and the observation deck room where the soldiers can go to see the Earth in the moon’s sky.
Though in reality, the gallery was far from quiet. And I kept getting annoyed because people were walking through my shot and trying to sit in my chairs! My chairs, people! Leave my chairs alone! lol! 😉