A waxing moon hangs low over town in a sky finally clear of rain.
‘Set the controls,’ I say to Max, settling lower into my seat and folding my arms, ‘the Sea of Tranquillity.’
‘I saw this film about the moon once,’ says Max, one hand lightly on the steering wheel with the insouciance of a twelve year old in a stolen truck. He glances sideways to see if I'm still awake.
‘Space Cowboys. You should see it. It’s about these four geriatric pilots. Apparently they’re supposed to be famous actors, but I've never heard of them. Anyway, it turns out they all used to fly with the United States Air Force, and then worked on space stations after that, until eventually it all gets too much and they retire. The thing is, there’s this Russian satellite that’s going to crash back to earth, but then it turns out that the Russians loaded it up with nuclear weapons in the Cold War. But now they don’t have the rockets to go up and sort it out. So they ask the Americans to help, and it turns out the only people who still know about the old guidance systems are these four geriatric airmen. So they all go up and try to fix the controls so it’ll fly off and explode in space. But there’s some kind of problem which means someone has to sit on the satellite and steer it manually. Luckily it turns out one of the old astronauts has recently been diagnosed with terminal cancer, so he says he’ll go. So they leave him on the satellite and he heads off to the moon, because he always wanted to go there. And at the end you see his body crash-landed on the moon, looking back at the earth. You should see it. It’s amazing.’