Making Weird Normal
‘ “...All I do know is you’re my best friend and I’m losing you, and I’m going to come find you.” My words hang in the air as the courthouse doors open and the Spanos and Dr. Thomas are escorted out.
George turns quickly to me, “ I didn’t tell you because I want you to risk your neck finding me. I told you because—because I had to. No more lies. I will never see you again. I had to tell you how I feel.”
Then they were marching her off with her parents. “Good-bye, Zaxton.” George says visibly shaken. She’s terrified. How was any of this happening?
“No good-byes,” I say. “I’ll find you. I promise, George.”
She looks back, her big braces glinting off the oil lamplights. “It’s Georgia. My name’s really Georgia.”
“Then I promise you, Georgia. Don’t forget.”
Silent tears run down the face of the bravest person I know — my best friend. In seconds, my best friend and her entourage of captors disappear behind the rations tent, into my yard with the helicopter, to be taken God knows where and done God knows what to for hiding and preserving the life of a precious, healthy female.
I was going to find George, or Georgia, if I had to walk the whole white planet and back, drive across it, and blow shit up. Whatever it took, I was going to save George Spano. ‘
‘It’s too bad, Zax thought. It’s a bum of a planet, and it’s death would begin in a few short centuries more or less. What cruel hopelessness to live on a dying planet— a useless world amongst all the other billions of useless worlds. A betrayal of sun, a sun of no hope. There wasn’t a way to preserve their existence, their once- thriving civilization, to say we were here, and we loved and we hated, we mattered. We had ideas, and thoughts and dreams and now... we are nothing. To anyone. Anywhere. A muted echo in the universe. It was hard to imagine that maybe they’d catch a break. Zaxton decided to hold onto hope. Looking at his family and wanting them to live generation after generation unhindered, he had no choice but to hope.’
‘I did run out of rations and was on my second day of starvation. I would die out here, my whereabouts unknown. If my bones were ever found, would anyone know they were mine? Who would tell my wife I was sorry, so sorry, Red, that I couldn’t figure this out, that I couldn’t find my way. I laid my head in what little shade the tree stump cast and closed my eyes, wishing I did have that white flag, after all. I didn’t know who would see it anyway. Who cared? I give up, I thought. I’m not up to the task. So whoever was doing this to me, if anyone was doing this to me, they deserved my utmost surrender.’