Checkpoint

It's a foggy, uneventful night. I am on my way to the last checkpoint – the gas pump right across the guardhouse. The logbook lies there on a barrel, wide open, illuminated by a bright street light beam. From a distance, it appears like it's floating in the dark. I approach slowly, as if not to unsettle the beauty of the scene.

A cloud of glimmering dust particles is dancing in the ethereal light, a few inches above the open book; thousands of galaxies forced into existence by my reckless arrival. I stand still and stare in awe. One day in the future, someone will discover that our universe is floating in a scene like this, forgotten at a distant corner of a higher-order world. Soon after that, we'll all learn that the Big Bang was caused by the passing of a dumb, nine-dimensional creature on its way to a completely meaningless pursuit.

Meanwhile, everything on planet Earth seems to be in order: The gas pump, locked. The barrel, full. The street light, on. I reach out for the pen that's fixed to the logbook with some string and tape, and jot down another entry: First, the time; and next to it, something that looks like my signature. Then, I make my way back to the barracks, unwillingly. Mopping duty awaits.

Manos Psychogyiopoulos

Manos Psychogyiopoulos

Athens, Greece