The Gravity of the Situation
I am a comet.
I hurtle around and around, my orbit static, the same, over and over, past brilliant stars, beautiful plants, incredible belts of asteroids and nebulae that paint a rainbow so full of every color the human eye can’t perceive them all. And then I start anew, passing brilliant stars, beautiful planets, and the same old same old until I stop noticing how amazing the universe is, every revolution pretty much identical.
The universe, however, is not static. The stars and planets and nebulae and asteroids are all hurtling through space, all rotating at their own rate. And though things may look identical to me, there are small changes, the minutiae of time, that make every pass just a little different, a little closer to this planet, a little further from that one.
I don’t know how it happened, how my orbit and yours ended up passing close enough that our gravity intertwined, but there I was, minding my own business, just orbiting peacefully, when I crashed into you. It could’ve been a moment or an eternity we were there, together, so close that we seemed almost binary, spinning apart and together again and again. And then suddenly, I was back, spinning through space on my own, a lone comet on a new and unknown orbit.
The planets look different now. The stars, the distant galaxy clusters, the asteroid belts, they all seem strange and foreign and not at all the familiar hum drum norm. The Doppler shift is different, colors twisting and ebbing, signals bouncing off me in new and strange ways, each novel, wonderful, scary.
You’ve left me spinning out of control, a celestial body whose influence I didn’t see coming and couldn’t avoid. I don’t know where I’m going anymore. I don’t recognize the landscape, though in many ways its familiar. And I keep hoping that on the other side of the next planet on the left, I’ll find myself spinning close to you, sucked in by the gravity of the situation.
Though I know you don’t want to believe it, you’ve changed my trajectory forever.