Social Limits

Mena lasted three weeks sitting next to David.

The spaceflight was dragging on, as any six-month travel with nothing to see but the void of space would do. Sure, the pin pricks of light in the celestial curtain would shift subtly through the weeks, but never enough to truly be of interest. And as entrancing as the thought of nothingness is, and as new as the view of space was to the twenty-six passengers, nearly four months of it can get a bit dull.

Now, though, Mena wished she could just look out at the dull black.

“So if you really wanted to improve the economy, actually having a low-priced economic agent that everyone can afford, and that employs most of those people, is a boon. Everyone thinks its terrible, but its worked very well for a lot of small towns,” David finished.

“Right, like the coal mines did?” Mena said.

“Precisely! Everyone lambastes them, but actually the miners had it great. Clothes, houses, food, credit when needed, and even health care.”

“And a happy little spot of black lung.”

“Which is what the health care was for.”

Mena felt her blood pressure rising. “Except that…never mind.”

“No, what were you going to say?”

“Nothing. I think I need to head to the washroom.” She unbuckled her belt and pushed up toward the ceiling.

“Well, maybe I can, uh, come with you,” David said, smiling suggestively as he reached for his belt.


“Okay. Maybe when you get back, we can watch a movie and just, you know, chill, or cuddle up or whatever.”

Mena didn’t reply, instead pushing herself toward the back of the cabin. When she reached Pamela, she stopped.

“Okay, I’ve done my three weeks. I can’t take him.”

Pamela sighed. “I heard him giving you his take on economics. I got that one early on.”

“Kind of a dope, isn’t he?”


Mena nodded. “Well, I’m currently ‘on my way to the bathroom’. I’ll try to make it last a few hours. But I think I may have to ask for my old seat back, Pam. Maybe see if Asif will switch with you for awhile?”

“Hmm. I’ll try. Poor Asif though.”

“Hey! What about poor Mena?”

“Oh, trust me, I thought that when we switched. And still do. I’ll hang out here until you’re done, then get my stuff together, k?”

“Of course. Enjoy what freedom you have.”

“Thanks so much, Mena. It’s been positively relaxing here these past few weeks.”

“No problem, Pam. Just remember, you totally owe me now.”

Pamela sighed as Mena pulled herself along the ceiling’s ladder, heading toward the toilet at the back. She started looking around to see who else she could trade places with.


One thought on “Social Limits

  1. Hooray for more of this world! Great sense of movement in this one–I liked imagining the characters floating around, gossiping, while space outside barely budges. Their planned “Chinese fire drill” at the end paints a great picture of life aboard the liner. Can’t wait for more 🙂

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