I always questioned my purpose in life.
When I was young. I wanted to be a rock star. I saw virtuosos on the guitar like Eddie Van Halen, gifted singer / song writers like Jon bon Jovi, and other artists and entertainers ranging from Angus Young and Steven Tyler to modern day artists like Katy Perry and Avicii..
And I admit I have always been jealous.
Not because I wanted what they had.
But deep down – i simply wanted to understand and be a part of what the pool of amazing creativity and talent that these artists so regularly dipped their toes in.
“Get a job, go to work, being a movie star or a singer is not realistic,” I grew up hearing, over and over again.
“It’s a pipe dream, and you’re just not that talented or lucky.”
I believed it.
So when I turned 17 1/2, not having any clue what I wanted to do when I grew up, I went to the Army recruiter with my father.
I had been diagnosed with Petit Mal Epilepsy when I was very young. And since I did not like lying to get what I wanted, and I can arguably say I really didn’t want this, I didn’t get into the Army.
Fortunately, about the same time I was dating Donna Suppes. And one thing led to another where I ended up getting a job at my fathers company – Orbital Sciences based out of Chandler, Arizona.
Within a year, I found myself in a role I actually enjoyed – working with computers as a programmer – and learning about space flight, rockets, trajectory, statistics, probability, advanced simulations, satellites, aeronautical engineering, and so much more.
One day – I had an interesting conversation with a man by the name Mark Dillelo. Mark was an amazing Jewish Doctor in Engineering – arguably an intellectual genius – but he was amazingly difficult to understand. He and I worked on the Pegasus rocket program which brought satellites into lower earth orbit..
Pegasus, a rocket built by Orbital to compete with the likes of Lockheed and Boeing, would launch a rocket off the underbelly of a L1011 aircraft that Orbital had purchased, here:
And once the rocket reaches a geosynchronous orbit – in plain English, that means it’s an orbit where the satellites will orbit around the Earth with an orbital period of one sidereal day, intentionally matching the Earth’s sidereal rotation period.
Not exactly plain English, right?
A sidereal day is nothing more than stating the satellite will appear in the same predictable positions as it orbits the earth on a daily basis.
Here’s how the rocket looks when it ‘ejects’ the satellites into orbit:
But going back to what Mark and I were talking about:
I had known about Mark’s religion – he was a devout Jew, and I would occasionally seen him wearing his yamaka – so I asked him what at the time seemed like a perfectly ordinary question:
“Mark. Believing in God like you do, Doesn’t it strike you as odd the similarities between a planet’s first steps into space and space flight and looking at the disease known as cancer from the outside?”
He didn’t understand the question, at first.
“How about this – Sometimes I see the Earth as being very similar to a Hydrogen atom with one single electron floating around it that we refer to as the moon”
I remember him laughing at the analogy.
“I suppose that could be true.”
“Now I watch a television show called Star Trek, which is in it’s second incarnation, and it seems like the same mission to explore space starts with a Federation of Planets, and continued expansionism.”
He was tracking.
“So what if we are quite literally residing on an atomic molecule within the body of a a being so infinitely large – this being we refer to as God”
He was still tracking.
“Now if you were that being. Wouldn’t this disease mirror the growth of cancer?,” I said.
Without batting an eye, he responded.
“Yes it would, But it would also resemble a fetus growing in the womb of a mother or a seed sprouting into a tree, and an infinite other list of variations of life both bad and good.”
“I’m glad you’re learning about our history and why we do what we do often without thinking twice about it,” he said, as he walked out.
Mark’s rocket went off without a hitch.
And I never had the chance to talk with him about his cryptic words after that.
But from that moment on, I studied all science fiction as if it was lessons from my own past. Combining it with the written history.
Prior to Mark making this comment, I had seen the state of technology with space flight and had dismal hopes for it achieving anything like Star Trek in my lifetime.
Prior to Mark making this odd comment – My hopes were dismal about achieving my mark on this world – and I was convinced that something ‘new’ in a world was unlikely – especially on a planet where nearly everything had been categorized, mapped out, labeled, and explored – LONG before my arrival on this planet.
But thanks to Mark’s haphazard comment.
He helped me come to realize why I was not going to wind up becoming a movie star or musician.
You see, it was Mark who single handedly inspired me to study games and entertainment as information about alternate realities.
The more I studied, The more I realized why the pre-canned roles society had molded like a cookie cutter were not going to be for me.
I had something much greater in store for me.
I was going to be Earth’s first historical time and alternate reality explorer and scientist.It’s funny.There was a time I thought – wouldn’t it be interesting it actors were only compensated for the roles they actually had lived?And what I was missing about their exorbitant compensation which was so out of balance with the rest of society – was that they had all actually lived the lives on the screen prior to becoming an actor?
Be careful what you wish for.
Reality has a way of making sure you get what you want.I wonder how many movies featuring rape, violence, sex, and the crazy things we we see on the movies and tv would actually be produced if the actors actually had to walk the shoes of the role they were playing first.I suppose I’d be one of the ones that would be fine with a lot of it.Heck. I would make my own stories after that just to live out crazy shit.