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Little Sisyphus

I Wanted There to Be Howling

from I Wanted There to Be Howling by Citizen Scientist

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I'm tired. I want to sleep. I want to sleep, and dream, like Aphex Twin, that I'm composing music, and wake up, and drink some water, and go back to sleep, and compose more music. I want to dream that I'm floating in an airship over a quiet Earth. Most of the people live in or near the cities. Vast areas of land and water are free from any human civilization. Development has been banned across the majority of the Earth's land mass, and ocean travel is also extremely limited. We used to have structures on the moon, but we banned those, too. The thing is, we used to think that space travel was the future. Now, with thousands of years of regenerating the Earth after we nearly destroyed it, we've turned inwards. There's no point in colonizing space. We're meant for this Earth. Without it, we'd die out there. My airship is small. It's powered by the light and the sky, and is only strong enough to carry me, my medicine, my food and water, and my machine, which helps me compose. I fly close to the treeline. I can't land, that's not allowed. But if something goes wrong, they'll come get me. I'm not worried about it. I'll be back in a few months. I programmed the airship's controls before I left, using chance operations, and I don't have any choice now over where it leads me. I will be home when it brings me home. No one can contact me. I can only send an emergency signal. It's nice this way. Quiet. I heard new birdsongs today, ones I had never heard before. The frogs and the insects in the evening, singing. The coyotes as the sun went over the horizon. Howling. I was looking forward to hearing that again. I wanted there to be howling. Millions of what we used to call American bison. I saw them out on the prairie, and even a bear. I never thought I would see a bear on the prairie, but that was in the days before. A long time ago. Before I went to sleep.

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from I Wanted There to Be Howling, released July 19, 2019

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Citizen Scientist Bismarck, North Dakota

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Nora Nygard is Citizen Scientist.

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