It started with a few pebbles rattling around the fatty sections behind their knees.
Hardly noticeable really, except for a slight grinding noise which could have been confused for joint pain. Soon, mineral deposits could be felt in all those places with skin and flesh to spare. The softness under arms and chins. Supple spots where the back folds over a bra or love handles cover tight waistbands. Areas unkindly referred to as saddlebags.
Naturally, they ignored the problem for as long as possible and when they did pay attention found the new additions annoying, even disturbing. Then, as wide-spread familiarity increased, the unwelcome intrusions shifted into fond additions.
They admitted that the tiny marbles protruding next to their left nipple or atop their ring finger looked kind of cute and that the flat rocks lining the underside of their finger pads made typing a breeze. Though the ones they loved most nestled privately in their stomachs, like a pit in a peach. Lying in bed, with their hands cupping a round spherical shape about the size of a fist, they felt less alone.
And so, of this nugget, they became obsessed with its composition. Message boards buzzed with possibility—was theirs a granite conglomerate speckled with pink feldspar, or a dark blue-grey basalt river stone made smooth by the churnings of digestion? And although they spent hours imagining what it might look like, some other part of them understood. Particularly as complexions changed and nails turned brittle. When they asked each other, have we always been this tired? The answer was clear: the masses had begun to swell.
Cravings for red meat increased. A run on oysters occurred in late September. Spinach prices soared. Think-pieces on the utility of beans and whole grains flooded their feeds. Eggs were a luxury. It was suddenly common knowledge that a certain mineral played a role in the body’s use of folic acid and vitamin B12 to help maintain desirable levels of homocysteine, a toxic amino acid associated with an increased risk of heart disease and stroke. Legs kicked restlessly at covers. Concentration grew limited.
Whatever attention was left turned towards space tourism. Was it better to trust this billionaire or the other one? Watching rocket after rocket explode left them concerned. It was becoming difficult to breathe.
The day was fast approaching when they would have to escape, to leave this earth behind. A new world was coming, and it would not wait.
This short text was inspired by listening to my dear friend Stefana Fratila’s incredible new concept album, I want to leave this Earth behind. The project was released with 8 open-source VST plug-ins that emulate the atmospheric conditions of the planets in our solar system.
In Stefana’s words,
“The album is conceptual, in that it centers on outer space exploration and my understanding of 'Crip futurity'. My vision is for the album to engage listeners in an exercise of imagining the sounds of interplanetary atmospheres– conditions which are inherently unlivable, unbreathable, converting all human body-minds into disabled-bodied-ness. Since I identify as Crip, or disabled, this idea deeply resonates with me. I am the first artist (a disabled producer/musician, no less) to have worked with NASA researchers on a sonic imagining of the solar system’s atmospheres that incorporates real scientific data. If we are all 'disabled' in (or by) outer space, my music is concerned with propelling all listeners into space, leaving Earth behind them, through my music.”
P.S., Almost used the Chat GPT4 generated title—From Annoyance to Acceptance: A Journey of Self Discovery, then lost my nerve.
very evocative...i can imagine it
Pebbles in the perfect title… Chat GP made a nice tag line!