University of California at Los Angeles, English department teachers lounge 7:50 PM PDT.
The afternoon summer ESL class was supposed to have started at 1:00, but that hadn't happened, and their professor, who had known it wouldn't happen, stood alone in the teacher's lounge, watching a bulbous, ghostly shape, wavering back and forth as it moved down a ladder toward dusty gray static.
The Watergate Hotel, Washington, DC, Room 3803 10:50 PM EDT
The tall, slender man aimed a jaundiced look at the glass in his hand. It was the tooth-glass from the hotel room's bathroom. It was about four times the size of a shot glass, and it was almost full of whiskey, and he thought briefly that, seeing that he was here in this hotel room because the contractors were making repairs on his house, and if he was honest with himself -- which he prided himself on doing very seldom -- the damage being repaired was very much whiskey-related, maybe having such large doses of whiskey was not such a wonderful idea.
He brought the glass to his lips, and took a healthy swallow. Well, maybe 'healthy' wasn't quite le mot juste
On the 27-inch Quasar, in snowy shades of gray, a padded, swaddled white shape swayed, as if dancing, as it moved down the ladder toward the dusty ground.
The voice crackled and hissed, like an old LP record that had been played too many times, the sound dropping out from time to time. From the camera POV, high above, the little hop from the ladder to the pale gray soil looked childish and comical.
"That's one small step...for man...one giant leap...for mankind."
And a human being was actually standing on the moon.
"Well, willya look at that, Hoby," said Alexander Scott to the empty room.
A continent away, Kelly Robinson nodded slowly. "You always said we'd get there, Dobbsie. In our hearts, in our guts, we're pioneers, and there's only one frontier left."
Two men stood alone in empty rooms, looking to the stars.