In other news, today is Thanksgiving. My family will be gathering in Chicago for the usual feast at my parents' house. (2.62)
Getting stuck on Mars is a bummer; missing out on Granny Watney's famous pumpkin pie is a tragedy. Jokes aside, we're sure that the Watney family is having a pretty bad Thanksgiving too. It just won't feel the same without Mark.
Home sweet home! Today I write from my gigantic, cavernous Hab! (10.24)
The Hab is Mark's home away from home. It provides him shelter, food, and—most importantly–-a little bit of relaxation. It's not much, but it'll have to do.
The data dump carried e-mails and videos from home. It was the high point of the day. (12.192)
With all of the focus on Mark, it's easy to forget how much time the rest of the crew spends away from home. Plus, they got so close to Earth and had to turn back around. That stinks.
Hey don't get me wrong, I'm not a mama's boy or anything [...] It's totally manly and normal for me to cling to a letter from my mom. (13.10)
Don't worry, Mark—we're not throwing you any shade on this one. It's been nice chatting with NASA, but those eggheads are nothing compared to dear old Mama Watney. No matter how insignificant it might seem to us on the outside, getting that message must feel like finding the Holy Grail
Waking up to frigid weather felt surprisingly nostalgic. I grew up in Chicago, after all. (18.100)
You know you're going crazy when you're feeling sentimental about brutal Chicago winters: those things are icier than Gucci Mane. Nostalgia sure has a funny way of working sometimes.
"Don't get me wrong," Robert quickly added. "I understand why you're doing all this. Still, from a selfish point of view, I miss my wife." (19.7)
Robert's in a tough position. On one hand, he just wants his old lady to be home, presumably so they can snuggle in bed and listen to "Dancing Queen" on repeat. On the other, he wants to respect her space. Commander Lewis doesn't seem like the type of woman who would budge either way.
Since Sol 6 all I've wanted to do was get the hell out of here. Now the prospect of leaving the Hab behind scares the s*** out of me. (20.122)
The Hab's been through a lot. It's been blown up. It's been deflated. It's been covered—literally—with Mark's poop. It must stink. Despite all of this, Mark still feels an immense amount of comfort when he's there. It might be nasty, but it's a familiar kind of nasty.
If there is a "later in life," I'll be happy to endure a little nostalgia. But for now, I just want to go home. (22.10)
For the first time, Mark actually believes that he'll make it home. That's huge. It was a struggle to survive, but he never took his eyes off the prize—planet Earth. This guy's been seeing red for way too long.
If I get back to Earth, I'll be famous, right? A fearless astronaut who beat all the odds, right? I bet women like that. (24.103)
Mark, you sly devil! He has a point, though. Even if he makes it home, Mark's life will never be the same. He'll never be able to be anonymous again. Whether that's good or not depends entirely on your perspective.
In Chicago, a middle-aged couple clutched each other's hands as they watched. The man held his wife gently as she rocked back and forth out of sheer terror. (26.4)
Finally, we get a brief glimpse of Mark's family. Although it's easy to get caught up in the suspense of Mark's exploits, we can't forget the real psychological strain they must take on his loved ones. Like Mark, however, we're separated from their perspective and unable to fully understand their feelings on this ordeal.