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It’s a planet, it couldn’t be anything else. There are probes and ships in Space, astronauts and computers tasked with stretching the limits of what we call Earth a little further each day (day? Is this the correct word to use?). Because, as my wife said, our world is no longer confined to the hard surface of the planet, we carry it with us wherever we go, like dust or a disease, up and down, in our bodies and our machines. Earth has come to represent most of the Solar system, its meaning spilling out and losing shape like egg-yolk. Whereas the other world is still just a planet to me. A masterpiece in its own right, lonely and clear and complete and self-sufficient as every new land appears to its discoverer or its castaway. Oceans, planes, even the sky – everything behind one’s back blends into the twilight of their old world, staining the maps, curdling into history, in sharp contrast to the unexplored ahead. Maybe at some point my secret place will become Earth too, maybe in a matter of days or maybe it has already happened, the moment I looked up to the soap-bubble sky above. But I don’t want to think about that now, it feels irrelevant somehow. What I’d rather explore is the planet’s position in relation to Earth: is it behind the Sun, where, like children drawing a flat, smiling solar disk in the corner of each landscape, we naively imagine there to be only darkness? Or is it bashful, dancing around between the planets we already know about, forever out of sight? It can’t be very far from a source of light and warmth, I felt both the moment I got there: the dry air, the slight breeze, the freshness in the throat, the freshness in my lungs. Who knows how the other world guards its secrets? There are entities, powers, a Presence all around us. That’s what my wife says. And in this space, this vast space we share, nothing could exist that fools the eye – of people as well as of machines – so completely, that it immediately forgets all about what it has just seen. I am not entirely sure if I believe her myself – in the unimaginable bowels of the Cosmos, there have to be blind spots, small or big, big as worlds even, that do not obey a woman’s memory, that refuse to be remembered.  That resist remembering, to be precise. The scientist verifies the data from her telescope, enters them and the screen across fills up with coordinates for those celestial bodies content with being discovered. That sort of thing. But I don’t know if my planet’s like that. And if it isn’t – how does my mind still hold on to it? I am not alone, I’ve known for several days. Every time the new planet intrudes on my life, I can feel him there with me. I can’t see him yet, but something tells me that soon enough the outline of his body will solidify and stand complete, next to or opposite from me.
– Excerpt from Vladimir Poleganov’s The Other Dream, translated into English by Peter Bachev