That’s a really good question. I’m so glad you asked.

Well, I’ll tell you.

I got to do a lot of really cool, space-related things this summer. Not because I’m cool. I just got lucky. For example, I got to go to Houston and visit the Johnson Space Center on an all day, behind the scenes tour. I got to attend the Space Academy for Educators at Huntsville’s U.S. Space & Rocket Center, which is really just Space Camp for teachers. While I was there I visited the Rocket Center’s archives and sifted through box after box of Wernher von Braun’s personal papers. I got to visit the “suit morgue” where they keep all the space suits that aren’t on display in the museum. I just got really lucky.

While all this was happening, I was also falling love with a girl I’d known for years. I won’t tell the whole story here but basically I didn’t think she liked me as anything more than a friend. She’s the one who invited me to go on the special tour at NASA. I knew she was special, but I still didn’t think she liked me. We spent four days together in Houston and then I left to go to Space Academy and she left to go to Europe.

My thesis is all about parallel stories and what goes on under the surface of things.

Al Shepard page


The main text is black. It’s all about the space-related things I did that summer as research for my thesis. The red text in the margins is all about what was going on in my head the whole time. It’s all about my confusion and self-doubt and I hope it comes off funnier than the way I’m describing it here. I wanted it to be funny, but I also wanted it to be very personal. This is without a doubt the most personal piece of art I’ve ever created. Only my proofreader and I have read the text in its entirety so far, so I’m a little nervous about the public presentation I have to give. My girlfriend, the girl from the story (oops, I just ruined the ending!) hasn’t read it because she wants to be surprised.

I hope she likes it and I hope people want to buy it. I don’t want to be stuck with fifty copies and have to use them to level tables and whatnot.