Man on the Moon

On the twentieth of July, 1969, before Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin watched Neil Armstrong become the first man on the moon, Aldrin served himself communion. Armstrong looked on. Then Aldrin spoke:

Since the moment I lost the coin toss to go first, I have hated you. I’m sorry. This isn’t fair but it’s true. In every book my children’s children read, your name will outshine mine. Aldrin: sidekick. I hate this truth and I hate this hatred. Listen. As we landed here I wished the rockets would fail and we’d plunge, a new crater visible from home. I’d be the first dead man on the moon. Al- before Ar-. Even now I hope the air fails, I hope this craft enters wrong through the atmosphere and we fall so fast we vaporize. I imagine us obliterating Easter Island or Mount Rushmore. I’d never harm you deliberately, but we could wipe out Cape Canaveral. If we hit that spur of shore so hard Kennedy curses in his coffin, so they never send another man up, at least I’ll be last to walk here. I’ll die wondering why I can’t be happy for you. I’ll rise unrecognizable and say, my punishment is greater than I can bear.


Originally published in Volume II of the 48 Hour Magazine.