Resignation never came for me. We like to believe it does, so we draft it into our movies, pen it into our novels in brilliant prose that years later we deem as potent and classic, but the fact remains that resignation is a fickle myth.
There was a rattle in my chest as I breathed again, sweating through it, watching the meter flip from 12 to 11 percent.
The moment it had flipped from 100 to 99, I’d waited for this scene, blissfully convinced it was just a morbid fantasy. The radio hadn’t yielded anything save distant static and then absolute silence in the last few cycles. I watched from the window of the shuttle as I looped around the earth again and again, everything but myself following the same routine it previously had.
The display informed me that 8 percent of my air tank remained.
And as the numbers descended, I hoped against hope that my spirits might, as well. Maybe I could give up, occupy my mind with a childhood memory or the thought of a trivial former lover.
But that sinking depression never came, never knocked on my conscience. There was no fear of my lungs struggling to expand, only to be realize there was nothing to fill them, no acute awareness of the seconds that ticked by, approximating my new lifespan.
There was only the unequivocal joy of not believing I’d ever have to experience what came after 1 percent.