If you haven’t yet, I recommend reading the vignette before continuing:
I’m fascinated by relative distance. You and I have a specific perspective based on our size. To every person, a pebble is small and a mountain is almost unfathomably big. But to a mite (that may or may not live in your eyelashes), the pebble is unfathomably big and the mountain is beyond comprehension.
Because of our size relative to them, we can’t even see mites. And to them, we’re an entire world on which to live, explore, and die.
It’s these types of thoughts that inspired Distance. I wanted to write something that explored this theme. What better way to illustrate that than by setting it on a spacecraft traveling at 1/10th the speed of light? The universe to us is like a mountain to a mite: beyond comprehension.
Still, there is no story without a human element. To deepen the theme, I also wanted to explore emotional distance. Someone who misses someone else enough to try to close the very real distance between them with science that they know can never be good enough to be authentic.
The first line illustrates this. Starting at the microscopic, where the atoms that make up one persons skin have the same amount of space between them as there is between stars, questions whether we can ever really be touching one another. Slowly the story pulls out until the we understand the distance between our protagonist and his lost love, Amara–1,900,800 miles everyday.
I hoped to accomplish all this in as few words as possible. Let me know how you think I did.