Aug 11, 1970

A Ticker-Parade for Three Tired Astronauts

The sky is very blue this summer. Just a few clouds on the horizon. We are lying on our backs, doing nothing. I guess we’re either eleven or twelve years old. There are fields outside my home town. In the old days cows would grace here. Nowadays they’re just for us, and for dogs to run free.

I’m not sure who first came up with the idea. But one of us says: “Imagine that we are hanging under the ceiling. Instead of looking up, we’re looking down.”

There’s a shift and then a gasp, as when air is sucked out from the abdomen. All of a sudden we look down into infinity, into an endless chasm. Involuntarily our small hands grasp for a tuft of grass to hold onto, even though we know it’s futile. This beats every free-falling parachuter. There’s nothing to say.

At some point we sit up and my friend says, “This is not real. What you see is not real, it’s just an illusion.” We sit for a while, looking around. Slowly we walk back through town. No one says a word.

We stop at the ice cream shop of Mrs. Frandsen. My friend says, “Let’s eat some ice cream.” We each buy an extra-large homemade ice cream in a waffle with whipped cream and strawberry jam.

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