The Great Outdoors (481 Words)

"Did you know space scientists have found a gap in the universe that's like a billion light years wide?"

Oh Jesus, it's going to be one of them nights. Out here in the middle of nowhere I thought we could, I don't know, get back to nature or something I guess.  Maybe even bond a little? A few nights sleeping under the stars, mallowdogs on the fire, bit of fishing, foraging for mushrooms. This is meant to be idyllic for fucks sake.

I knew it was going to go to shit when he pulled the reefer out, hopefully he only has the one so this stoner waffle will be short lived and tomorrow we can get on with the serious business of hunting, eating and relaxing.

"Honestly, think about that for a second would ya. A billion, A BILLION, light years across. And there is nothing there, NOTHING."

Guess I better humour him, "Yeah man, it's amazing. That universe is a big old place."

"Nothing, zip, nada, zilch  . . ."

"I get it dude, there is nothing there."

"There is literally nothing there; it's not like having an empty box that is full of like oxygen and stuff. There is NOTHING there. Your mind can't accept that."

Don't bite, don't bite, don't bite.

Too late.

"I am aware of the concept of nothing Kal."

I swear he is smirking at me.

"But you're not Mat, look at all them stars, now look at the gaps between them. That's further than we'll ever travel in our lives. Each star is a sun with its own solar system, maybe even with their own Earth. And this gap, this void in the infinite could swallow most, if not all of it."

I'm going to be honest as I sit here gazing into space, he's got me. We all get so caught up in ourselves that we forget just how small we are. Somehow we are smaller than nothing, Kal's right I can't get my head around it. I'd never admit that to him of course. Nor will I admit that thinking about the size of the universe terrifies me. Maybe I'm over thinking all of this, maybe I need to be more like him. Kal doesn't worry about anything. I always thought as the older brother I was meant to be the leader, be the wise one. Maybe he can teach me a few things?

"Hey Kal, pass the joint man."

With a grin of pure mischief he more than happily passes me the joint. I take a deep drag and hold it in before coughing it all back up. This amuses him no end, so I take an even bigger drag before blowing it out his way. I pass it back to him, lay back on the ground and marvel at the sky.

"Say Kal, just how far away is this hole?"

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