It was, of course, inevitable that the Sun and I would end up in a fight to the death. Helios, Baal, Apollo – whatever name you want to put on that fascist whoremonger, it had been broiling my life into writhing and miserable meat pie ever since my birth. Somebody hooked a lasso around my shin and dragged me out of the womb - too weak to push myself in front of a bus, too pudgy and uncoordinated to pull a trigger - and ever since I first felt the Sun’s stabbing rays on my talcum-fresh baby skin, I had held a grudge. The Sun was my first enemy, my first hate, and as I wriggled and screamed, I marshaled every fiber of my infant humanity against it.

I never forgot. It would not be the first incident. The Sun would amass a mountain of similar atrocities as my life would continue to unfold.

I vividly remember my twelfth birthday.

There I was, carefree and beyond the slightest fancy, a stolid chap rife with virtue and a curious kind of doggy vigour. The most that could be said against my person was that now and again, when the light hit my countenance at the right angle, my paleness was capable of burning out the eyes of the most myopic. No matter: my parents indulged my perverse tendency toward photophobia and even paid a doctor to tell the world I was allergic to sunlight.

“Where are we going?” I asked my father, watching him load creams and ices and cold drinks into the cooler – something that normally only occurred when he was preparing to take my older brothers and sisters for a long outing to the beach or to the zoo, places I happily avoided and made up for missing by amassing an encyclopedic knowledge of their flora and fauna that left my progenitors unable to justify bringing me along for educational purposes.

“We’re going to the park, laddy,” said my Father, sternly.

“But it’s my birthday today! I thought we would watch some foreign films, and we could discuss them, and then have cake.”

“Son, this year we are going to do something a bit different.”

I reached out to touch him, stepping out from the garage and into the light of day.

“Ouch! My eyeballs!”

“Wear these,” said my Father, handing me a pair of sunglasses. I put them on.

“Today we are going to go to the park to have us a time. You will enjoy it. We will play Frisbee, and have a picnic, and toss water balloons…and there will even be girls, eh sport? A real boys-and-girls together party. Your mother has invited the entire neighborhood in your honor, so you have no choice. Besides, it’s not natural to spend a July birthday party inside watching Fellini. Consider yourself lucky. On my birthday when I was a sprite, I always had to work. In December. Shoveling coal. For the Mafia.”

My Father began to hum quietly to himself, staring coldly into his past, and I knew the conversation was over.

It was an unholy disaster. My Mother had paid all of the neighborhood kids fifty cents a piece to show up, and as soon as they got a look at me, they each, in turn, decided the pay was good enough to stay, but not good enough to keep from beating the homemade snot out of me every time an adult was busy with their nose deep inside a whiskey sour. One of the more creative youths took to calling me Casper, and it caught on like influenza. The girls were the worst. I was attracted to them…all in their own way…and their reptilian vitriol was the hardest to swallow. Alternating between jeers and gentle cajoling, Elizabeth Ostermann lured me away from the park proper, and out into the field beyond. It was mid-morning. I wore black.

It was dusk when my parents realized that I had been missing for some time and went looking for me. They found me lashed, wrists and ankles, to a chain-link fence near an adjacent dry riverbed. My eyes had mercifully caked over. The crusty scum of tears, blood, and mucous had been the only thing that had kept me from going blind. I had watched the Sun go up and then go down, underneath each of my eyelids shunts made out of grass blades to keep them open. Cruelty among children is not deviant, I realized. It is the very definition of humanity.

I was naked, and the burns I suffered can only be described as traumatizing. I have strong suspicions that the only reason I was found at all was because there was a slight wind, and I smelled just like fresh pork-chop. I had to be carried to the hospital on a stretcher slathered with local anesthetic, and as I lay in a dark room, feeling each turn of a ceiling fan against my skin, my soul began to work its way toward critical mass.

External sunburns heal. Internal ones, evidently, do not.

I never blamed the other children, and I refused to squeal on them. They were merely products of their sunny, godforsaken environment, ready to string up whatever the light told them was different and unique. I knew who their leader was, these demons in their Hell. I blamed the source itself. My purpose in life was clear.

It is perhaps vanity to think the Sun noticed or cared. The Sun had better things to do. Its insane work ethic kept me free to plot and scheme without being turned into a crispy par baked fart as a result of every malign indiscretion or heresy against its tyrannical presence. Inanimate and without will – or so science would have you believe – the Sun’s silent obliqueness sent me, when finally alone, into frothy paroxysms of babbling insanity, my rage only multiplied by the deaf ears receiving my delirious importunities. I never got the quenching balm of a response for my curses, but then again, I was left alone to plan, monomaniacally, deeper and more elaborate schemes to achieve the satisfaction my aching heart now demanded. As I grew older, my mind thickened and became strong with hate.

And yet, how to defeat an enemy 97 million miles away, 5 billion years old, and so powerful that power itself is measured in units of its waste?

In my own mind, I answered that question with another: is there any greater ironic irritant than when a fire ant bites between the toes of a King?

Despite my ultimate defeat, this story is proof that there are gaps in the Sun’s almighty incendiary reign. Take heed. If you share my hatred, there are ways and means to ensure that the Sun does not torture wayward humans with total impunity. There are ways to exact revenge, and means to mitigate the repercussions. If enough moths fling themselves at a light bulb, eventually it is going to crack.


My first order of business once I decided for good what my life’s work would be was to research the possibility of extra-terrestrial travel. Perhaps I need not fight after all. Perhaps I could merely flee into the cold blackness of space and let the stars be my security blanket. I pumped a great deal of my sizeable trust into private firms devoted to extra-terrestrial alternative living, but all to no avail. Cryogenics were promising back then, but no one had perfected the science.

Then I began to run through other possibilities and options. I had limitless rage, but limited funds and limited knowledge. I couldn’t, for instance, hijack NORAD and launch the entire nuclear payload of the United States into the pit of our solar system: I just didn’t have the infrastructure. No, my vengeance would have to be more subtle, more clinical, more calculated. I would need to use the minimal amount of force for the maximal amount of damage, because minimal was all I could muster. In a war against the Sun, what better theoretician to draft than Sun Tzu?

Burning red destruction
My pain becomes my weapon
Soon: eternal night


The little town of Thick Rope, Texas was the proud home of the Southwest’s last surviving drive-in movie theater. In an astounding coincidence that offered incontrovertible proof that fate gave its juiciest gap-toothed smile to my most passionate endeavors, Thick Rope, Texas was also the dugout hidey-hole of the United States’ Clean Solar Power Consortium. My opening gambit would be almost too easy.

With impecunious conniving and the last of my finances, I managed to have myself elected city comptroller. It was an easily purchased position, I ran unopposed, and the sleepy town of Thick Rope didn’t have the prescience to suspect a serpentine, Houstonian carpetbagger. My feet up on a cherry pine desk, I placed a metered call to the effectual head of the CSPC, Aloysius Messer.

“Mr. Messer, the town of Thick Rope would like to once again deliver to you its sincerest gratitude regarding your choice to house the brains of your operation in our humble little whistlestop.”

“It’s no arbitrary decision, Master Comptroller. We have been paid good money by the Powers That Be to research completely converting the state of Texas to solar power by 2050. Right now, wind power is on the rise, but we hope to panel entire sections of the West Texas desert and use your homeland as a model for the rest of the world. With luck, the Sun will be able to someday power the entire grid with minimal overhead and collection. Do you know how much energy is wasted every day on light that no one uses?”

“Hot damn, I’ll bet it’s a lot.”

“You’re darn right it is. The Sun is the best bet for a better tomorrow, and it is our solemn duty to investigate all of its manifold gifts to us, humanity.”

“That’s a lot of fancy talk, and I sure do appreciate your giving me an ear for your time, Mr. Messer.”

“What was it exactly you wanted to talk to me about?”

“Well now, we here in Thick Rope got us to thinking, and we figured it was high time for us to offer a symbol of our gratitude to you and yours, who have been revitalizing our economy lately by the patronage of failing local business. We had us a meeting and we have decided to hold an official “Sun Day,” officiated by yours truly of course, and capped by a celebratory free catered dinner and movie for CSPC employees and their kin down at Devilish Dan’s Park’n’Save Cinemascope.”

“You mean down at the drive-in?”

“Indeed I do. It will be a gala affair, with food from The Catfish Palace and a gift raffle. I predict “Sun Day” will be just the thing to put Thick Rope on the map.”

“Well now, that sounds just fine, Master Comptroller. Just fine. What other ideas do you have for this Sun Day you’ve got in the works? I mean, to get the rest of the town involved.”

“I figured the kids would get out of school, we’d hire us a carnival, and we’d try to turn this into a yearly tradition. A bit like one of those snow days they get every once in a blue moon up north, where the whole town shuts down and everybody skates and frolics, except this will be more institutional, and instead of ice-skating, the kids will play tetherball.”

“Hmmmm. So I’m assuming this will be a summer affair?”

“Naturally. It will be two weekends from now, on Sunday the eleventh. Hottest day of the year, say the egghead meteorologists. I’ve already made all of the plans. Hell, what else is there to do around here but to kick back and worship the Sun a bit, you know? Let all God-fearing Christians who love their Sun and their Son come by and drop some cash in a gregarious and festive spirit of communal fellowship.”

“Heh heh heh...I get you now.”

“So we see eye to eye. Why don’t you let your people know, and also let them know that the most important fifty officials from your firm will be escorted to the “Sun Day” movie in cars that will swing by and pick them up at their houses at, say, two-o-clock? You’ll all get nice mid-section parking spots and surround-sound audio.”

“Gee, that’s swell. This is all just an incredible honor. I surely will tell everyone back at the office. Might I ask what movie you’ll be showing?”

“High Noon. Of course.”


The hardest part was finding the audio-video equipment, but I had connections in Austin. Digital video would be fine, and I even managed to cheaply procure a high-end digital video projector, which would save me enormous amounts of time and effort.

I set up one camera so that it was directly facing the Sun itself. I fed its output into a big-screen television, and set up a timing relay, so that the camera only took a picture every two seconds. It was laughably easy. I filmed the Sun until its brightly-shining stellar mass filled the television completely, and then, quickly, I turned the camera so that it was filming the television’s projected Sun, and not the original. If you’ve ever held two mirrors up together to see the infinite regression, you have some idea of the effect. This accomplished, the Sun became magnified in brightness and intensity, hurting my eyes and causing me to turn away.

Two seconds later, and the tape began its progression toward capturing an infinity of Suns. I turned off the delay, let the camera roll, and shut the door to my solarium behind me. The television’s signal also fed into my laptop where I was digitally recording it, so I would not need to observe the camera’s success. I had trust in my own righteousness. The sweet and utter perfection of simplicity was my counsel and my arbiter.

First I would eliminate the Sun’s minions, and then I would be ready for my final master sunstroke.


The big day brought with it a profusion of silliness and overwrought, earnest speechifying, but I was not going to let the antics of pseudointellectuals and bobble-headed yokels get in the way of my childlike glee. From where I stood on the podium facing the churning masses, they all looked just like ants. Teeming, swirling, selfish ants. Tiny and vulnerable. And I was Michael the Archangel, my sword a child’s magnifying glass. Magnified.

Aloysius Messer was filling the town with his most heavy-handed and delirious propaganda. His face was as red as dried Ketchup on a picnic paper plate, and I couldn’t tell if his white, button-down shirt was soaked from his sweat or from his spittle. The movie was about to begin.

“People of our fair satellite, the Earth! Our greatest hope during this current time of massive depletion of our natural resources and fossil fuels lies not in digging deeper toward more profitable crude, but in looking skyward at our neglected, taken-for-granted brother Sun! In many cultures the Sun is deified and given the highest honors a human can give, and for good reason. Its life-giving rays grow our plants, light our days, and evaporate fallen water, the second half of the cycle that brings rain to our dry lands. Someday, we at CSPC feel that the Sun is capable of much more. We believe it is capable of running our cars, our electric toothbrushes, and yes, even our movie theaters. This evening, as you watch this glorious film made possible by the good people of the Thick Rope Chamber of Commerce, remember the words of Buckminster Fuller: “There is no energy crisis, only a crisis of ignorance.” Thank you, and on with the show!”

There was a minor hubbub as people sitting in and on their cars adjusted themselves and made sure their cars were tuned to the proper radio station. The day had gone exceedingly well, and everyone was dog-tired from all of the games, commerce, and posturing that goes on at a small town fair. The class divides were readily apparent. Parked in the front were pick-up trucks and beat-up decades-old sedans, their drivers wearing BEER ME! T-shirts, and all of the women smacking around platoons of children who were trying desperately to light their own farts.

“Behave now, Benji, or you ain’t going out no more. You kin stay home wiff d’ pigs and d’ dawg.”

The middle section was filled with personnel and well-wishers of the CSPC offices, all in Lincoln Town cars paid for with a great chunk of this year’s entertainment budget. By the time anyone noticed, I would be long gone. Let the hippies live large. It was my private joke: I liked seeing unkempt stink farmers guzzle gas.

Deep in back, where I was, were the town’s Eldermen, busybodies, and professionals - gossiping, drinking, and trying their damnedest to convince one another’s spouses to make their lives meaningful through the time-honored tradition of adultery. Sickening, but it did a good job of robbing me of all excess pity. I wouldn’t want my feet to develop a sudden chill.

The most hilarious hijinks came from the tension between the CSPC golden children and the Texas peasantry. The liberal non-judgmental values of the CSPC were called deeply into question when forced to accept and engage in the sort of merriment embraced by my kin and countrymen. High as Parnassus, tongue-studded MFA candidates straight from New York were trying to engage my squinty-eyed, beef-eating brethren in meaningful dialogue about genetically modified foods, American foreign policy, and socialized medicine. This made both parties wildly uncomfortable, and every now and again my people would try and to diffuse the tension and to make peace by offering personal hygiene tips. This did not help.

The Sun would play no favorites today, however. The Reichstag would burn. The World Trade Center would collapse. And then both sides would see their common enemy and unite, under my leadership, toward a dimmer, danker tomorrow.

The reel began to run, and so did I. I didn’t have the luxury of waiting around and reaping the fruits of my grand symbolic gesture. My act of terrorism would sow seeds, and make the soil ripe for one last cut of the blade.


“Sun Day” Celebration Goes Horribly Awry! 150 Dead, Thousands Blinded! Texas Declares War on Environmental Activists, Sun!

(Headline, Austin-American Statesman, June 24, 2004)

Thick Rope, Texas. What was supposed to have been a down-home folk festival celebrating the virtues of solar power turned deadly as a power surge triggered by the celebratory movie accidentally fried brains, retinas, and spirits – crippling an entire town and leaving police baffled.

“We were having a party for the Sun, and I guess the Sun just showed up,” said local businessman Jack Weismuller. “I lost my wife, and I’ll never even be able to so much as look at a picture of her again, on account of my eyeballs being poached like runny eggs. But she’ll always be with me. I’m burying her under the floorboards of my outhouse.”

The United States Clean Solar Power Consortium, in conjunction with administrative officials from the Thick Rope Comptroller’s office, came together to hold the first annual “Sun Day” with the hope that it would bring additional revenue to this sleepy Texas town which until now had only been able to boast the Southwest’s last surviving drive-in movie theater. Aloysius Messer, head of the CSPC, now regrets the decision.

“There we were, watching Gary Cooper strap on his six-shooters, when all of a sudden it was like a billion suns exploded in my mind. My eight year old boy – he started screaming. I bent down to try and help him, but it was like I’d been punched in the face by a prize-fighter on PCP. Looking away is what saved my life, though. I didn’t know eyeballs could bleed.”

Mayor Franklin Ashbury was one of the unfortunate casualties. In his absence, the state of Texas is declaring martial law in Thick Rope until the situation can be stabilized.

Early reports claim that the digital projector which was showing a digitally re-mastered edition of High Noon had been doctored, rigged to transmit an incredibly bright image still being tested in federal laboratories to ascertain its construction and purpose. Those who witnessed the extremely bright image, if not initially blinded, immediately underwent what in many cases were fatal seizures and heart attacks.

The Governor had this to say:

“I’ll tell you what was on that tape! It was the damned Sun, burning out people’s hopes and dreams! And those fat cat Washington bureaucrats want us to switch to solar power….well, Texas won’t have it, and neither will I! My constituents have been destroyed by the negligence of carpetbagging radicals, and this is a grave warning to us all. Texas made itself something great on oil – sensible, black, and expensive oil - and that’s how it’s going to stay great.

Oh, and all you environmentalist scum can go to hell, too. I guess I feel sorry for your dead and your wounded, but what about our dead and wounded, victims of your nefarious plot? We will not cave to your implicit demands for more funding. We aren’t NASA. It’s smart to make yourself look just as hurt as us Texans, but we don’t buy it. This is a scam and a scheme. Texas demands reparations!”

The Governor later retracted many of his statements but was quite firm on one point: Texas will not be exploring solar power for quite some time.

Aloysius Messer had nothing to say about the allegations from the Governor. When asked, he merely laughed and pointed to his eyes. Funding for his project has been revoked by the Unites States government due to a lack of credibility in a platoon of blind engineers.

Officials from the Thick Rope Comptroller’s office could not be reached for questioning.

In a related story, a man calling himself Captain Midnight, the head of Citizens for Faster Entropy, sent a letter to several national newspapers claiming special knowledge of the sabotage, and insisting it was a deliberate attempt on the Sun’s part to destroy humankind. Most newspapers decided not to carry the letter, due to its incoherency, lewdness, and the fact that it was written, as sources note, “entirely in either black crayon or human feces. Probably crayon.”


Alright, so I got cocky. I started my own group of coalition forces – all people like me tired of the deadly thermonuclear radiation mercilessly bombarding the planet: mutating them, warping them, and causing them to develop unattractive squints. Often severely unattractive squints. It was a good thing we mostly met at night.

My act of solar disobedience was a black beacon in the day, summoning together Sun-haters from all over the world. The California Gothic Association allowed us to use one of their many pleasantly decadent mansions to hide out and plan a media blitzkrieg to further generate support. Our result, the television dramatization of the events in Thick Rope, received incredible amounts of critical acclaim, especially for the performance of John Turturro as the Sun. I thought his work was second-rate, but then again, I am not a voting member of the Academy. Say what you will, he was certainly diabolical and his overacting helped us get sky-high contributions from a frightened and pliant Middle-America.

All wasted money, in retrospect. I should have abandoned my dream, and spent more time helping retarded adolescents achieve sexual satisfaction. Perhaps my karma would be presently more pure.

But I am getting ahead of myself.

As you can plainly see each and every miserable day, Phase Two of my operation would never come to fruition. On the very cusp of success, my hope for victory was dashed against the rocks of failure like an unwanted newborn dashed against a lamp-post in a back alley of Jerusalem. Hear my tale of woe, and grow wise with its message.

It was a Tuesday, and it was, ironically, pleasantly overcast. There we were in the attic of our turn-of-the-century mansion, my Generals and I, seated around our Formica meeting table in our black spandex jumpsuits and preparing for The End of All Time. We were eating snow cones, and my valiant Generals were giving me their reports regarding the various tasks I had assigned to them.

“Dr. Insanity – how does the interior decoration of our underground bunker go? Will our tectonic caverns be habitable by the end of the week, as ordered?”

“Of course, Captain Midnight. HOO…HOOOHOOO…HOOHOOHOOHAHAHAHA! And, we have finished production of the information pamphlets that will be dropped on population centers when our plan succeeds. SUCCESS WILL BE OURS! LET THE NIGHT KNOW NO END! The pamphlets are entitled. “So There’s No More Sun. There’s No Need to Get All Crazy.” I was thinking they ought to be a dark blue, but I am open to suggestion. RULE ME, FLAWLESS ONE! You have some Jamaican Me Crazy juice on your chin.”

“Excellent. Lord Nightraven, Ruler of the Infinite Realms of Eternal Darkness – how do we stand with the impressionable youth of America and Western Europe? Do you think their fragile minds will fall easily under our persuasion, once the crisis hits? What is our street credibility? And, did I get it all, Dr. Insanity? My tongue isn’t all pink, is it?”

“No, no…it’s lower. Here, let me. LET ME, I SAY!”

“Oh My Mighty Liege and Purveyor of All Goodness to Those Who Call Themselves Your Humble Urchins! My Black Bowels Tremble with Unworthiness. The Adolescent Mind is Rife with Terror and Torment, Used and Abused by Parents, State, Church, and School. Our Tendrils Reach Deeply into Their Fat Wallets and Fat Hearts. They are Our Pastel Putty, My Liege. We Shall Bend Them to Us Like The Aluminum Foil of the Damned.”


“Please, put your pants back on, Captain Insanity.”

“Lo, Your Genitalia are Truly Hideous. Like the Craven Monstrosities Born Out of a Dying Alien Dimension. Of Hate.”

“That will be enough, Lord Nightraven. And what of the Satellite-Mounted Space Mechanoid? Our crowning glory. Where do we stand there? Will it be operational for the equinox? What tidings do you bring from the Science Department, Mistress Ionia?”

“Yeah. Sure. Whatever. It’ll be ready, I guess.”

“Whatever? Whatever? If it doesn’t work, our entire plan is a worthless shambles! If it doesn’t work we have spent the last year pissing out precious time and crapping away pure potential! All that money, Mistress Ionia! Please, give me details! This is the trembling crux of the entire affair!”

“Look, that’s what I wanted to talk to you about, okay? I mean, seriously, you want to destroy the sun with a giant mechanical robot? I am dubious, at best. I mean you are paying me tremendously and I really appreciate the health plan, and don’t get me wrong, I loathe the sun as much as the rest of you...but….(pssigh)…it’s just not going to work. I mean, I know we’ve got a top notch design. And the self-replicating seed crystals are certainly going to do something. But just what exactly? I mean, it’s not as if we have another Sun to experiment on. It’s kind of a one-shot deal. So, yeah. I mean it when I say it. Whatever. That’s where Science and I stand. Whatever.”

“Mistress Ionia, Your Fatalism is Truly a Severe Flaw in Your Otherwise Perfectly Dark and Tempestuous Beauty. Would You Mind if I Loosened Your Bustier?”

“I SHALL LICK THE CHERRY FROM YOUR SWEET, SWEET SLASH! You know, that scar above your eye. I think I see cherry juice in it.”

“Alright now people… calm down. Mistress Ionia is just expressing the voice of skepticism and certainly we all respect that.”


At that moment there was a thundering roar from downstairs. A bomb?

There was the sound of a hundred heavy footsteps on the spiral staircase beneath us. Whistles. Gruff orders given throatily by manly, hulking men. Windows breaking all around. Alarms. Screaming. Gunfire.

“Go check it out, Dr. Insanity. Everyone else, OFLSBMITEP!”

As soon as Dr. Insanity was gone, his twin biomechanical Lugers drawn and ready, the rest of us instituted Operation Flee Like Shrieking Baby Mice Into The Escape Pods. We all knew in our hearts who was upon us. The Feds. Maybe even an elite strike force of super-powered mercenaries – misunderstood, debonair, and cynical - but always deadly and effective. Perhaps they were consummate individualists not yet comfortable with working in the company of other professionals, just now coming together to accomplish the goal of saving the world from a cruel, clandestine plot, using their specific talents in harmony to defeat the tricks and traps of horrific, anarchistic entropy.

We were well prepared for the contingency. Dr. Insanity wondered why I had leaked his photograph to The New York Times, telling the whole world he was Captain Midnight. I told him it was because he had such a nice smile. With luck, he was hewn in two by a stream of vicious machine gun cartridges by now, and the truth would spurt out of his violently ruptured abdomen to suffocate in a hostile atmosphere.

If not, there were remote control suicide caplets implanted in his retainer. Remember, good little students: never do anything for which you are legally culpable without first picking out your patsy. I counted to five, and then, with a twist of a dial, I made sure Dr. Insanity was no longer.

I never found out where Mistress Ionia and Lord Nightraven’s escape pods went. Mine was connected to the robotic underbelly of Sirhan, the Satellite-Mounted Space Mechanoid of previous mention (our crowning glory). With a press of a button, the easternmost turret of our manse was ejected into space, its only cargo a small rocket full of Ice Dust and the world’s most handsome and charismatic extra-planetary ideological exile. Trotsky would be proud.


I’d like to say I fired the seed crystals into the pit of the Sun. I’d like to say the heat of its plasma caused them to begin replicating at a speed rivaling light, sucking all excess and latent energy from the splitting hydrogen and freezing it from the inside out. I’d like to say this was the precise moment when my will crystallized into pure triumph, a dynamo of supreme, transcendent glory. I’d like to say this piece of writing is my apology for what I did, and not what I failed to do. But what I actually said, as I watched the rocket I fired fizzle out and drop end over end into the cold blackness of orbit around the Moon, was:

“Shitsucking assmonkies!”

Not the most profound words for an aspiring Nero. But then again, by that time, I was more like an understudy for a sickly Herman Goering. Maybe a Reagan.

Reader, my escape pod was not equipped with thrusters, as it was originally designed for a one way trip into the Sun. Furthermore, by an ironic quirk of fortune, I was going in the opposite direction. So, while I was able to escape the gravitational pull of the Earth, I was not capable of making it past the immensity of Jupiter. One more stroke for me in the aggravating impotence column.

Which brings us to the present, where I now sit writing and staring out of a frosty porthole. It will not be long now before I run out of food. I am in regular orbit around the regal gas giant, slung here by the gravity wells of the Moon and Mars. If I scrunch my knees into my chest, I am able to keep myself from having to dip them in my own solid waste which has pooled in one section of the capsule.

I dictate my demise with a front row seat observing the lively and inventive cyclical cosmic symphony, the highest wisdom the natural world can provide to lull sentience. Bah. The stars don’t twinkle; their light is still / Spinning and floating makes me ill. I welcome death.

But no need to brood. Death will make its eventual appearance. One can’t eat freeze dried food packages forever. Eventually the Sun will win. I balled up all of my hate into a tight little wad, shot it, and missed. Wide left.

But I came close to greatness.

The only thing that gives me consolation in these, my final hours, is the knowledge that in 3 billion years, the orbit which my vessel currently maintains will be the very place the Sun will come to rest against when it bloats and consumes the first three planets in its extreme old age. The rest of humanity, the entire Earth, will be sucked into its fiery new border, obliviated, and reduced to component atoms. For the rest of eternity, the Sun and I will be face to face. Equals. It, my greatest hate. And I, its silliest adversary. Nevertheless. My corpse alone will never be used as fuel for a God that never blinks.