Anser Journal


By Ryan Stevens


I hope you get this.
I don't know what happened here
But something came through
This signal
I was fast asleep when I heard the Engineer's voice coming through
Static-y and rough
Couldn’t make any words out of it
And then the whole ship shut down
She’s asleep and she’s not waking up.
All life-support systems are still hanging in there,
I’m not suffocating yet.
I’m not starving yet.
But it doesn’t seem like I’m going to make it back to you
I’d rather not talk about that.
Let’s think of something else.


Space is big.
It really humbles you.
Kind of makes me forget what I look like
Where my body stops and the space outside starts—
And where Sagitta is in between—
It all feels of the same piece.
Anything you say, any joke you tell, any song you sing—
Doesn’t matter how good or bad you are
This void will not be moved.
No laughs, no boos, no feedback of any kind,
Just you and yourself.

Sometimes I think you’d have handled this better than me.
You were always better than me at knowing what to do on your own.
I always needed someone to impress.
Impressed yet?
...That was a joke. I'll assume you knew it was a joke.
You knew it was a joke and you're laughing like an idiot now.
Okay, well...
Let’s envision me coming back,
And seeing you,
And breaking down crying and hugging you even as I’m swarmed with reporters and
adoring fans that will pay through the nose for our stories so we can retire in a week and
live our remaining days in a cabin in the mountains
And our remaining days are going to be long, because of modern science
So neither one of us ever has to die.
I’m looking forward to that.
So you keep smiling
Keep working hard
And remember to take a break sometimes
Remember to breathe.
And I’ll see when I see you.
Hope this reaches you.
Don’t forget what I look like.
Love you.
Over and out.

Ryan Stevens (they/them) is a playwright/director/teacher hailing originally from Belton, South Carolina. They have an MA in dramaturgy from USC and an MFA in Playwriting from UCLA. They have previously had work produced with Great Plains Theatre Conference, South Carolina Lab Theatre, Silver Spring Stage, and more. They have had short fiction published in Deep South Magazine and The Lettered Olive.