“See I’ve got my eyes on the skies,
The heavenly bodies up high
And if you’re in the mood to take a ride
Then strap on a suit and get inside.”
– *NSYNC “Space Cowboy”
In 2002 *NSYNC’s Lance Bass nearly had his boy band butt blasted into orbit. Los Angeles based television studio Destiny Productions offered the Russian Space Agency 20 million dollars to make Lance the world..s third space tourist. His journey to the International Space Station aboard a Soyuz Rocket was to be the latest and greatest in reality TV but after months of negotiations the deal evaporated. Here’s what might have happened had the plan not gone awry…
Teenybopper hearts pump in double-time to boy band beats. The phenomenon is in full frenzy and *NSYNC lead the pack. With every highly choreographed shuffle and spin legions of little lassies twitter, flutter and flip with the fever for the *NSYNC flavor.
Lance Bass is backstage at MTV’s Times Square studio, his hair getting a final frosting before show time. Lance’s publicist is multitasking. She buzzes around the dressing room yapping on her Bluetooth headset while scanning a Blackberry screen and delivering frantically scribbled notes to her assistant with agitated grunts. Outside rages a rabid surge of girls crashing into the fortress walls. Ten of NYC’s finest boys in blue are barely enough to keep these banshees at bay as they screech for Bass and wave homemade signs proclaiming their undying devotion.
Lance stares into the mirror. He can already see the wide “shit for breakfast” grin of his face’s future. Inside, way deeper than x-ray vision can pierce, his spirit is a small flame desperately shielded from the wind of the world. Agents, managers, the press and the public are swirling whirlwinds threatening to snuff him out. Lance twists and shouts on cue while his bank account mounts but his tiny flame goes flicker flicker.
..Ok, Carson..s ready for you…
Lance flashes a weak smile that grows bigger as the lights get brighter.
Carson to Camera 1, “Welcome back to TRL. We’ve got Lance Bass in the house! What’s new lady killer?”
“Hi Carson. It’s great to be back. You’ve always got the hottest audience around.”
He flashes a sly smile and the studio audience erupts in ecstatic applause.
“Thanks ace. Soon I hear you’re going to be facing a very different audience, green creatures with ray guns.”
“I sure hope there aren’t any ray guns up there but yes, I will be entering a new frontier. I’m headed into outer space later this year to practice my moonwalk.”
Wooooooooooooooooooo!!!!! Girls go wild.
The shallow volley continues for twelve minutes to be followed by an advertisement for *NSYNC’s new album. Nobody plays for free on MTV.
Lance is stranded alone in a deep Russian forest without food or water. It will be three more days before he sees another soul. Between his busy schedule of smiling wide and jiving for dollars Lance has spent weeks at the cosmonaut training facility in Star City outside Moscow. He was spun in a centrifuge until his eyes switched sockets, he was dropped by helicopter into the Black Sea and left bobbing in its frigid chop and he’s been swooped up and nauseous down in rusty planes to simulate zero gravity. Tomorrow he’ll be licking magazine seams, spewing lies about how thrilled he is to be one of the sexiest suckers alive but tonight, surrounded by the cold howl of wolves, he feels alive for the first time since fame came knocking.
Bass sits wedged between Russian flight commander Sergei Zaletin and European Space Agency astronaut Frank DeWinne. He nervously shakes his well-insulated leg as the Soyuz Rocket pulsates around him. He can feel the power of the Cold War era projectile growing in anticipation of its launch. Then comes a thick-voiced Russian countdown.
All is white heat and rumble. Through his foggy visor he hallucinates. The MTV Music Video Award astronaut mascot floats by the cockpit warning, “You’ll never escape. Our satellites surround.”
The instant velocity feels like he’s swallowing a very pregnant woman while being pulled backwards. Lance vomits into his mask and it drains with a wet, sucking sound. His guttural groan resounds through his in-helmet microphone and he hears the cosmonauts laughing deep. Their guffaws multiply into a roar from master control. He pictures them swigging home-brewed vodka as warning lights flash unnoticed.
Suddenly the intensity ends and the Soyuz is coasting in a gentle arc around the Earth. Oh my, the Earth! It spins so huge and beautiful blue. Lance..s gaze is filled with wonder as he lifts weightless from his seat. The straps easily hold his body back but his mind floats on lightest of all. It slips through his visor and fades past the cockpit into space. His spirit is a silvery reflection of the stars, wide open to the awesome silence that surrounds.
The universe embraces Bass.. being in its infinity. His soul echoes the Sun’s rays, resonating in radiant waves. Deep anxiety is replaced by an awareness and exaltation of all. His epiphany occurs outside of time. Lance’s fully expanded mind has transcended the tic-tock of Earth clocks and shines in super simultaneous space. He was here all along and shall be forevermore. Floating in the womb of the galaxy Bass is fully in-sync and open.
Immediately upon returning to Earth Lance disappears. The media buzzes non-stop with wild rumors: terrorist abduction, drowning, drug rehab. Let it buzz, for with the golden dawn of an October morning Lance arrives unexpectedly at the home of fellow *NSYNC member Justin Timberlake. A shocked Justin is led by Lance to his expansive backyard. They sit together under a wide bowed oak alive with the sweet smell of morning dew and stare at each other.
“Where the hell have you been?” blurts Timberlake.
“I’ve been right here all along. You’ve heard me riding on the songs of morning birds and felt me amongst the flowers of your garden.”
Justin’s head falls into his waiting hand and shakes.
“I’ve chosen to come to you because I know you have the capacity to understand the meaning of my metamorphosis.”
“Meta-fucking-morphosis! Like the metamorphosis of our band crumbling and the metamorphosis of me losing millions of dollars because you disappeared off the face of the planet, literally, to lose your fucking mind?! If you’re talking about that metamorphosis I definitely understand. It’s crystal clear.”
“I knew you might feel this way Justin. It’s perfectly natural. I’m sorry I caused you suffering but this pain can be a gateway to your glowing future. The world tells us we are stars but we are not the stars they bend us to be. We do not twinkle through telescopes built with false glass. We are not material light refracted through the mechanics of money. We are galaxies burning bright! Our starlight is unveiled through our art. Music is an expression of our electric potential. Sing with every breath and you shall evolve endlessly.”
Justin starts to reach for his phone in order to arrange a loony bin pick-up but this urge dissolves the moment Lance sings a sequence of pure tones. Justin feels a radiance rushing on Lance..s breath. It fills his entire being and explodes into a shimmering spectrum. Suddenly he hears bird songs and smells flowers like never before.
Justin Timberlake releases Justified, a progressive pop gem produced by the Neptunes & Timbaland. It is an album filled with sparkles of the future but still accessible enough to reach the masses. His follow-up, Rosaviakosmos Revolution, is produced by Lee “Scratch” Perry and Brian Eno. It features Alice Coltrane, Steve Reich, Caetano Veloso, Holger Czukay, Robbie Shakespeare, Saul Williams, Ravi Shankar, BjÃ¶rk, Tony Allen, Kraftwerk, Thom Yorke, TV on the Radio and Animal Collective. Lives are changed through the energy of this music. Lance Bass is never seen again.
This story was filed with the optimistic futurists of
RE:UP Magazine by > frosty