It’s rough to the touch. I rub my thumb and fingers and watch the pads of my digits absorb the deep ochre. It’s such a fine bit of decay – hard to believe that this is the end of the line, a micrometer at a time. I remember when it was so shiny and reflective, but those times…
“Those times are gone,” I said to no one in particular. No one could hear my lamentations. I breathed in as deep as I could. The particulates swirled around me, As I watched the exhaust of the final rocket to leave my planet. They begged me to go with them, but someone had to stay behind.
I looked away as the few who remained crammed themselves into the towering cylinder. I remember the look I received before the hatch was dogged. I expected sorrow or remorse, but all I saw was defeat. A defeated people escaping a defeated planet.
I brushed off my knees the dirt that clung to everything. It was as if the grime couldn’t bear to witness cleanliness. I pulled my breathing apparatus off my head – there was nothing left for me any more. As the contrail faded in the swirling dust, I allowed myself to grieve for the past and the inevitable rusted future.