543 million years later
and they're still kicking,
under a few kilometers of water
and up to their endopodites in mud,
blind as a bat and stupid as dirt,
but what the hey.
it's a living.
I meant to write sooner, but anyway,
I think of you a lot,
out there in yesterday's tomorrow,
sailing an A.U. in an augenblick,
closer and closer to the ultimate velocity,
and the terminal gulfs between galaxies.
I saw your mother last weekend,
told her the yen for science skips generations,
she told me you're an engineer
but I knew that.
By the time you get this message it'll be
years from now and the end of an eon.
They found some trilobites down in the trenches.
Maybe that'll make it into the digest they
send you this year,
but just in case.
Think about it!
All those millennia of millennia,
burrowing blindly in ooze, down there
where the crust does a perfect 10.0 into the mantle.
The sea floor itself is a spring chicken compared to them.
Heck, they don't look so different from the bugs I used to study,
back in the Middle Cambrian.
Now we finally know what their bellies look like.
I'm kinda hoping that cryosleep thing will work out,
and soon, cos my time is running short.
It would be nice to see some great grandchildren,
In a billenium or two,
when you get home.
I hope you're still writing music;
your mom was pretty good, you know, had a flair for it
before she got too busy,
and I was happy that you'd taken it up.
As you know, I can't tuna fish.
And speaking of fish,
I remember when I read about the coelacanth,
that ancient model of our own Carboniferous ancestors,
caught right before they ventured onto land.
Of course the modern coelacanths can't take that step themselves-
They live down deep, safe
from rapacious upstart cousins.
But face it, we are cousins,
and what's a couple hundred million years
if it's all in the family?
Things aren't going so well since that trouble out in Kansas;
they probably didn't tell you about that.
Maybe the idea of freezing myself is a dead end.
I mean, who's going to tend the freezers
for all that time?
And good old American know how sure
won't keep them going without maintenance.
Maybe I should just leave a note with the coelacanths,
they'll still be around when you return.
The trilobites, now, they're hardly relatives at all.
We parted company a good 543,000,000 years ago,
never looked back,
don't owe them a thing.
But you've got to hand it to them:
If we blow ourselves up they'll still be down there;
with all that water to protect them,
they should outlast the roaches too.