“Accepting Your Planethood,” a guide by Carolyn Supinka for Bad Survivalist

 

1

YOU HAVE JUST RECEIVED YOUR diagnosis. At this stage, we advise you try not to think about it too much. It is no small thing to become a planet. 

Take three deep breaths. If you are near a window, look outside. 

Do not look directly at the sun, but think about the sun. 

Feel its light warm your skin. Think about your skin. Picture the sunlight traveling across your body, illuminating your entire surface. 

 

2

Along with this brochure, the clinic will have issued you a tape recorder. Tape and batteries included. Your participation will be appreciated for future research and treatment of planet/personhood transformations. 

But for now, try not to think about it too much. 

We cannot predict how much time you have between your diagnosis  and the onset of your first symptoms. 

If you are near a window, look outside. 

Do not look directly at the sun, but think about the sun. 

Think about the earth, and the time you have spent upon it so far. 

 

3

At this stage, your mass is starting to affect the space around you. 

You may observe an orbiting effect: small objects will be drawn to the dimple your body carves in space and will start to circle your presence. 

It may take anywhere from a few hours to a few days for these objects to complete an orbit. Small fruit, household pets, letters from your parents, framed photographs will be pulled around your body. 

You should now utilize your clinic issued tape recorder. State, clearly and in a calm manner, what you estimate your orbit circumference to be. 

List the objects that you have pulled into orbit. Describe their reactions to this new development. 

 

4

Your gravity has now begun to affect your shape. You may observe that your edges have become rounded. Your self is growing spherical, smooth. 

You may experience some discomfort at this stage. Debris in your close proximity may be drawn to your body and may be assimilated into your surface. 

We advise that you surround yourself with objects that you would not mind becoming a part of you. 

Daffodils, conch shells. A favorite book or work of art. A loved one. 

 

5

At this stage you have surpassed one kilometer in size. We do not advise going to work at this stage, or using public transportation. 

Take three deep breaths. If you are near a window, look outside.  Do not look directly at the sun, but think about the sun. 

If you have access to a pool, spend 2-3 hours each day floating in lukewarm water. Other planets have found this to be a calming activity. Float on your back and let your ears sink under water. 

Listen to the static of the water flowing around your body. Imagine it pouring into your person like a bottle, filling you feet to head. 

We caution you to do this in a public or private artificial pool.  Avoid rivers and at all costs, the ocean. 

Hera 18.3, discovered in July 2017, spent several hours floating in the shallow tides of the Jersey coast before she sailed into the Atlantic. She has not yet been located. 

 

6

At this stage you have grown large enough to be classified as a planetesimal.  You will be drawn to other planetesimals, and they will be drawn to you. 

At this stage, you can expect collisions, both calamitous and tender.  This is where you really start to grow. 

This is when you should start considering things like: 

What kind of planet do I want to be? 

A gas giant or an ice giant? A pearl translucent or a sturdy sphere, packed tight with coral sand and simmering? A planet habitable for humans, or a land devoid of anything we’ve ever seen before?

It is not entirely up to you but it is something to consider nonetheless. 

 

7

At this stage, the number and force of the collisions with other planetesimals is causing your core to melt. This is both sublime and terrifying. 

At this stage, you are losing your atmosphere, gasses and vapors escaping your self. 

Take three deep breaths. If you are near a window, look outside. Do not look directly at the sun, but think about the sun. 

If you still have access to your tape recorder, utilize it at this time.  Please just tell us what you’re feeling. Please try to speak quietly. 

Whisper the rush of collapsing from the inside, the prickle of radioactive decay setting in. 

Whisper to your loved ones, describe to them these experiences. 

They cannot make this journey with you, but are surely curious and supportive. 

 

8

At this stage, you clear your neighborhood. 

Planets become planets when they leave their old lives behind. 

You have now gained enough mass to consume all other planetesimals in your orbit. You may, yourself, have been consumed. 

(This brochure assumes that you are the consumer, not the consumed)

You may feel sensations of guilt or relief, depending on your interactions with other planetesimals. 

Nothing remains of your former life. 

 

9

At this stage you have now an inconceivable expanse of space surrounding yourself. Your apartment, your parents, your ex, are all light years away. 

It is helpful to not think about this distance. 

Focus instead on your orbit, its eccentricity and inclination. 

You are experiencing an entirely new type of day. 

A new star is your sun. 

Take three deep breaths. 

Do not look directly at the sun, but think about the sun.

 

 

Carolyn Supinka is the author of the chapbook Stray Gods (2016, Finishing Line Press) and is a writer and visual artist living in Portland, Oregon. Her work has been published most recent in Sonora Review, Peach Mag, and The Recluse, and is forthcoming in DIAGRAM. You can view her writing and art here.

Image: bbc.com

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