A lot of people who’ve been to space tell you it’s easy. Float around. Press a few buttons. Write a few reports. Do some light science. The usual stuff. I’ve been up here for 403 days and what I’ve found is that it’s all about routine. Every morning I wake up at the same space time and follow the same space routine. Routine trumps all. Routine, routine, routine. Just today a routine was not followed and the consequences where horrendous. Not horrendous for me, thankfully, because I follow routine. It’s my colleagues who don’t seem to get it. It confuses me. How hard is it to make a schedule and stick to it? I leave reminders for them about routine on the sticky notes I smuggled up here. Yet they still falter. NASA told me to stop using sticky notes said them being possibly toxic. But what do they know? Some of them haven’t even been to space.
Where was I? Oh yes. Routine, routine, routine. Space and routine.
Space routine. It helps me cope with the sheer magnitude and scope of space. Staring out of the window into space is part of my routine now. An hour every day staring into space. Into the vastness. Into the bleakness. Letting it envelope me. It’s relaxing. Helps me think. Mission Control has a lot of routines set for us, but staring into space was one I added. It helps to add a few personal routines to keep from going space crazy. Space crazy is a different type of crazy. Not that I would know. I am completely space sane.
Routine helped me figure out a lot of stuff about my space self. The space self is different from the earth self. Earth self sometimes went off routine. Space self never goes off routine. Space self is the righteous self. Earth self was unrighteous. I have become one with space. It has improved me. Isn’t that why we’re up here in the first place? To become better space humans? The other astronauts never understood this.
When routine is not followed? When sticky notes are ignored? There must be consequences. An earth routine not followed is no big deal. A space routine not followed is possibly tragic. My colleagues sometimes argued with me about this. They had a few valid points, but their earth logic is flawed. All they had to do was follow their routines and not interfere with mine. Easy enough right? Yet here we are.
Their interference, among other reasons, is why I’m about to blast my colleagues out of the airlock. I know you have a lot of questions, but I assure you my space reasoning on this is flawless. It just makes space sense. The hardest part was getting them all into the airlock. Thankfully they’re clever, but not space clever. “Why did you lock us in here?!” they ask “Where did you get that knife?!” they ask. You’ve never heard so much whining! I calmly explained to them how this is a new part of their routine and that they must follow it. Always adhere to routine. Always. Next on my routine is pressing the eject button and watching their lifeless bodies float away into the warm embrace of space.
An alarm has been going off for hours and Mission Control keeps on calling me. “Calm down.” They say. “This is irrational” they say. You know what’s irrational?! Not allowing sticky notes in space. That’s irrational. All their earth talk is getting in the way of my space thinking, and the other astronaut’s screaming and crying is not part of their routine at all. Even now they are whining! “Don’t do this!” they say. “We’re your friends!” They say. My only question to them is: Why didn’t you follow routine like I did? Why?