Life on Mars

It’s Monday morning. I have my normal morning, which involves waking up at 5 and working before work. Today, I am finishing an article for a kids’ magazine about what living on Mars would be like. I get caught up editing a few sections and before I know it, it’s time to walk out the door. I do with a glum demeanor on my mug.

I know, I know. Monday. Case of the Mondays! But that’s not it. I don’t mind Monday. I don’t like Sunday. What Monday has going for it, is that it’s not before the week, it’s during the week. This logic relies on the understanding that no matter how unpleasant a Monday morning can be (and this one is epically bad, with freezing rain and skies so gray they look like the side of a steel ship), at least you’re getting the thing over with.

A woman slips in the mud in front of me and I don’t even smirk. Madness. Three boys do a routine reminiscent of the three stooges. Not a grin. It’s clear – I’m depressed. It’s no doubt the article I’m writing. What would life on Mars really be like?

When I  was a kid as far as I knew, actually living on Mars was the domain of sci-fi writers and Marvin the Martian. It was oft-depicted taking place in huge bubbles with three moons in the background. A happy family in sleek Martian spacesuits stood smiling at their nice red lawn which was in front of a decidedly futuristic house. I figured it wouldn’t be bad. I liked the moon. Now I’d have three.

But times have ushered in the actual discussion of colonizing Mars. And suddenly Mars lost its sci-fi allure and became a place that was 300 million miles away and where I couldn’t get a decent cheesesteak.

When I began writing the article, this vision grew far worse still. We’d have to live underground in lava tubes or caves. Our houses would have to be thick protective shells to keep us safe from cosmic radiation. The atmosphere is much thinner than Earth’s, so we’d have to wear spacesuits all the time. All the time! What if we had to poop? By the time I get to Mars, I’ll likely be in my 70s and I feel like pooping is going to be both a daily priority and necessity. Amazingly, it gets worse. Mars only has 38% of Earth’s gravity, so we wouldn’t be able to move very fast. Since I’ll be in my 70s that’ll be fine with me, but I’ll miss watching baseball and football. I’m sure Martian supervisors will introduce something like slow baseball and anti-gravity football and then try to sell us on it, but it won’t be the same. And I’ll be the old man bemoaning the ‘real’ sports of ‘my day.’ And then I’ll crap in my suit.

You can see how this is weighing on my mind as a I jog up the metro steps to catch my tram, which is already there and which I run to – might as well enjoy moving fast while I can. I sit on the tram and take out my book. Might as well enjoy reading before my Martian reduced blood pressure destroys my vision. Sigh.

I try to see the bright side. What would be good about Mars. I guess the shell house would be OK. I’m not that big on outdoor sports. Also, because of the lower gravity I’d be really strong and be able to jump really high. These are definitely going to be pluses when I get to Mars in my late 70s and my knees no longer exist. But I wonder if I’ll live in a good cave system. What is the family who lives in the lava tube next door and real assholes? I guess I’ll just depressurize their house. Enjoy that carbon dioxide, chum!

I’m lost in my revelry so I fail to notice that we haven’t moved for a few minutes. We’re just sitting in the center not moving. The woman next to me sneezes and then blows her nose like it’s a party favor. Oh well I guess that’s a plus for the spacesuits. We sit for a while and the driver comes out of the hatch and addresses us directly, he tells us it’ll be a while as there’s a huge accident up ahead.

I get up sullenly and head back towards the metro, which is probably 300 yards away. If this were Mars I could cover the distance with just a few jumps. Or I guess I could pick up the tram and carry it over the accident. But no, I have to walk back to the metro and then take transport to work. This would never happen on Mars.    

  1. #1 by greg galeone on November 22, 2022 - 1:22 am

    No trump on Mars.

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