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She read on: "Earth. It must be safe. We can breath the air, feel the definite sense of support underneath. Why shouldn't we stay here? Let's concentrate on keeping the cage clean. It's a beautiful cage. The cost of leaving the planet is too high. We'll die if we try."

Erisa thought this person was either an idiot or was being sarcastic. Since the canary in the gilded cage was the classical metaphor for false security, she was willing to believe the person was being sarcastic. But, somehow, this message was interesting.

Erisa had several mottoes. She had long come to feel comfort in her mottoes. She would think about them when she wanted to feel a sense of purpose. The neatest for her was, "my goal in life is to get off the planet as soon as possible." When she was in high school, her first boyfriend used to say it to her. They would dream of living with each other on a space colony where they could be alone with each other in the beauty and vastness of space. He believed that people would ultimately overpopulate the planet. She agreed.

A second motto that she loved was "worry is a waste of imagination." This time it was an English teacher in eleventh grade. The teacher had had the class write an essay on the relationship between worry and imagination and why one might think of worry as a waste of imagination. When you start to worry, you should imagine a new world instead. Erisa had taken the "glass is half empty or half full" idea and applied it. The result was that either worry was a waste of imagination or imagination was a waste of worry. She got an "A+." This was something she was not used to. But, ever since then, she believed the half-full side, that worry is in fact a waste of imagination. So, she dreamed of space and getting off the planet as fast as possible. She developed her dream, but dreamed rather than worried about it. Erisa had four sisters and three brothers, and she was the oldest sister. Throughout her childhood, she was the one who took on the role of mother. It was natural for her.

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