It all started when I was in my office cleaning my blaster. Qui-gon stepped inside and saw me and suddenly freaked out.
“SWEET JU-JU-BEES!!! DON’T DO IT!!”
Then using the force, he knocked the gun out of my hand. I looked up at him with a mixture of confusion and irritation. “Hey, I was..”
“I know man. But it’s not worth it. You still have plenty of life in you yet. I know you’ve been under a strain lately but you can’t shoot yourself.”
”Wha-? Shoot myself? No I…”
“It’s not that I wouldn’t mind the company in the Æther, man, but it’s just not your time. Besides…I really don’t want to clean up the mess. You ever clean up jawa brains? Man, that stuff is worse than cleaning pudding.”
Qui-gon thought about it for a moment. Looked at my jar of metal polish and opened it up, draining the liquid onto the rug. “uh…..yeah. I think so.”
“Okay, first off, I was just cleaning my old blaster. I had nothing better to do this afternoon. The brownie business is running so smooth; I hardly have to do anything anymore.”
“Really? Gee, you look pretty tired of late, man.”
“I could say the same for you too, my friend. But yes, I feel tired. Sort of all thin and stretched, if you know what I mean; like butter that has been scraped over too much bread. I feel I need a holiday, a very long holiday. I’ve lived all my life on a desert planet and now I want to see oceans. Oceans, Qui-Gon. Oceans! I think it’s time I took a long cruise. I’ve been looking into an ocean liner that does such things for months at a time. …I’ve booked myself on one.”
“Oh….wow…um….well…I hope you have a nice time, man. I hope it helps you. Really.”
I smiled up at Qui-Gon. “I have a second ticket…if you want it?”
Qui-Gon looked at the ticket then looked at the spilled metal polish. “Maybe it will help me with my…um…. ‘problem’.”
“It may just do that. Not to mention they have all you can eat Funyuns on board.”
That brightened him up.
So after a hasty few days of packing and setting things straight here at home, we took a transport to the planet Tropic-0 where gigantic cruise ships do nothing but sail around in the balmy ocean. Our cabins were huge and had balconies that overlooked the sea. There was food a-plenty of every imaginable cuisine (I could even get my spicy BBQ ronto intestines). They had live music at night and even a floating casino. They had everything! After a few days I began to truly relax for the first time in years.
Qui-Gon himself began to relax too. He hardly ever opened up jars of stuff anymore. He was back to his old ethereal self.
One afternoon as we reclined in our deck chairs watching the sun fall into the sea, Qui-Gon turned to me and said, “Sunsets are like life, man.”
I looked over to see he was gobbing a brownie and waited for the bizarre explanation. But this time he surprised me.
“Sunsets are like life because they are so beautiful and no two are exactly the same. But they are so fleeting, man. You really only have a few moments to really enjoy their beauty before they slip away, you know? And so many people don’t even step outside and watch a sunset…not even their sunset. They’re too involved in other things that they just miss them. I don’t think there’s any thing sadder than seeing someone who’s missed their own sunset. I mean, it’s yours, man. How can someone be so distracted with other things and not fully enjoy their sunset?”
I thought about it. “Yeah, I think I know what you mean, old friend.”
I offered Qui-Gon one of my special cigars and for a wonder, he tried it. He then offered me a brownie and I ate it. We then looked out over the golden ocean and watched the sun drip into the sea.
Lay down…your sweet and weary head…
Night is falling. You’ve come to journey’s end.
Sleep now and dream of the ones who came before…
They are calling…from across a distant shore…
Why do you weep? What are these tear upon your face?
Soon you will see all of your fears will pass away
…safe in my arms.
You’re only sleeping.
What can you see…
On the horizon?
Why do the white gulls call?
Across the sea…
A pale moon rises
The ships have come to carry you home.
…and all will turn to silver glass A light on the water…
…into the west.