Register Thursday | December 13 | 2018
The Homesickness of Astronauts

The Homesickness of Astronauts

"She felt a great sadness. She would remember next to nothing of this, even soon."

Johanna Skibsrud, pictured. Photograph by Rachel Castillo.

The first fish jumped at five. She had woken again too early and so saw, from the flat rock she had chosen by the river, how the water was perfectly, perfectly still, and then—after the brief interruption of the fish—still again. 

When she woke the edge had come off the darkness, but the stars were gone. There remained only a grey expanse, which—her eyes suddenly open, staring through the ceiling of the tent—was broken by the mesh of the screen into tiny, separate squares. She inched her way from her sleeping bag and found a pair of clean socks, a sweater and her sandals. But she didn’t put them on. She would wait, instead, until she was outside by the river, because she didn’t want to wake him.  

Finally she raced the zipper up its track. It ...

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