EXCERPT FROM HANDWRITTEN JOURNAL
I don’t know when we are right now, not exactly. And not in that momentary ‘wait, is it Wednesday or Thursday today?’ way. More in that ‘I unknowingly travelled ridiculously far back in time and don’t even recognise constellations anymore’ way. Some nights I go to sleep expecting to wake from this bizarre dream in the morning. But those nights are increasingly fewer and further between. We’re finding a new normal.
I’m handwriting this journal. I could type it up on my handheld log, but the feeling of writing by hand is quite grounding. With the strangeness and intricacy of everything I’m uncovering, I need an outlet away from the research, just me and my thoughts and my pen and my paper. It helps when I’m feeling overwhelmed or anxious. I haven’t written in a while, though. The anxiety that has always woken me in the night, heart and mind racing, has actually gotten so much better. You’d think being flung into the past, into an unfamiliar world, would put a person on edge, right? Don’t get me wrong, as we travelled through time and witnessed unknown histories unfold before our eyes, I was on the edge of curling up and rocking back and forth forever. But now, here in time, I speculate on that wild ride with a sort of critical interest. Just another piece of the puzzle.
This task is utterly fascinating, but painstakingly slow. I don’t think the other two understand the process at all. Cal’s eyes sort of glaze over when I talk about it. But there’s so much repetition, typing, recording, squinting, and finding, following, then losing track of patterns. Sometimes I have to stop and just mindlessly doodle to give my brain a break. I’m getting there though. This technology, this language, they’re so far beyond anything I’ve known about before. I would say they’re impossible if I hadn’t seen them with my own eyes. My research could change everything, if we ever get home.
IF I NEVER EAT ANOTHER SLOPPYFRUIT AGAIN IN MY LIFE I WILL DIE HAPPY.
I can safely say I don’t miss the research base one bit, other than my tools and gadgets. Everyone there would give me strange looks for taking my meals back to my workspace instead of hanging around at the communal table. I like being here, where it’s quiet and simple and strangely beautiful, with just my two friends. Even on the days when I’m on the verge of stuffing a sock into Iggy’s ever-moving mouth, or Cal’s footsteps echoing in the caves are making my head hurt, I wouldn’t want to be here with anyone else. We have regular catch-ups to stay updated on one another’s progress. Cal basically has the cave system memorised. Iggy is doing excellent work with mapping these unfamiliar constellations. I wouldn’t say it to her face but her renderings are quite beautifully detailed. And I’m making slow but steady progress.
I don’t know what the plan is when I’m done. We haven’t really discussed it much. I’m trying not to think about it.
Read the next Artefact here.