Often, I still dream I’m in zero-gravity. It’s a cruel dream, as with all good dreams, because I then have to wake up and go back to perfectly normal Earth gravity. During my time in space, I came to the conclusion that zero-gravity is the natural state of being, and Earth is simply a prison for the potential of mankind to bounce around with impunity. There’s such a psychological release that comes with zero-G; everyone should experience it for themselves, just once, and then they’d all know. We’d all know.
I keep trying to replicate the feeling, but nothing is quite the same. My first job upon getting back to Earth was with a building company. You might describe it as a fling, but I knew they did work up high on portable scaffolds and work platforms. It was a hollow approximation of floating in the space station, but still, I wanted to feel something. Anything, really. Getting on top of a work platform let me pretend, for a moment, that I was still where I belonged.
It wasn’t to be, however. It was quickly noticed that I wasn’t exactly focused too much on my work; a ‘space cadet’, so they called me. How ironic. To be fair, falling from atop an aluminium work platform in regular gravity was cause for injury rather than simply a convenient way to float to the ground, so it really was an accident waiting to happen. After that I took up rock climbing for a while. Healthy, good for the glutes, but I still felt limited by the fact that when I fell, it wasn’t a gentle floating experience, but instead a harsh rope keeping me aloft. So, the opposite problem to being stuck on the ground.
I should like to be able to use mobile scaffolding and climbing walls without any hang-ups, but I don’t know if I ever will. My dreams just keep reminding me of what could be.