Dear Neil Armstrong,
I write this to you as she sleeps down the hall. I need answers I think only you might have. When you were a boy, and space was simple science fiction, when flying was merely a daydream between periods of History and Physics, when gifts of moon dust to the one you loved could only be wrapped in your imagination.. Before the world knew your name; before it was a destination in the sky.. What was the moon like from your back yard?
Your arm, strong warm and wrapped under her hair both of you gazing up from your back porch summers before your distant journey. But upon landing on the moon, as the earth rose over the sea of tranquility, did you look for her? What was it like to see our planet, and know that everything, all you could be, all you could ever love and long for.. was just floating before you.
Did you write her name in the dirt when the cameras weren’t looking?Surrounding both your initials with a heart for alien life to study millions of years from now? What was it like to love something so distant? What words did you use to bring the moon back to her? And what did you promise in the moons ear, about that girl back home? Can you, teach me, how to fall from the sky?
I ask you this, not because I doubt your feat, I just want to know what it’s like to go somewhere no man had ever been, just to find that she wasn’t there.
To realize your moon walk could never compare to the steps that led to her. I now know that the flight home means more. Every July I think of you. I imagine the summer of 1969, how lonely she must have felt while you were gone..
You never went back to the moon. And I believe that’s because it doesn’t take rockets to get you where you belong. I see that in this woman down the hall, sometimes she seems so much further. But I’m ready for whatever steps I must take to get to her. I have seen SO MANY skies.. but the moon, well, it always looks the same. So I gotta say, Neil, that rock you landed on, has got NOTHING on the rock she’s landed on. You walked around, took samples and left.. She’s built a fire cleaned up the place and I hope she decides to stay.. because on this rock.. we can breath.
Mr. Armstrong, I don’t have much, many times have I been upside down with trauma, but with these empty hands, comes a heart that is often more full than the moon.
She’s becoming my world, pulling me into orbit, and I now know that I may never find life outside of hers. I want to give her EVERYTHING I don’t have yet.. So YES, for her, I would go to the moon and back…. But not without her. We’d claim the moon for each other, with flags made from sheets down the hall. And I’d risk it ALL to kiss her under the light of the earth, the brightness of home… but I can do all of that and more right here, where she is..And when we gaze up, her arms around ME, I will NOT promise her gifts of moon dust, or flights of fancy. Instead I will gladly give her all the earth she wants, in return for all the earth she is. The sound of her heart beat and laughter, and all the time it takes to return to fall from the sky, down the hall, and right into love.
God, I’d do it every day, if I could just land next to her.
One small step for man, but she’s one giant leap for my kind.”