My Rock Alien

I was the last one alive on the ship, and I had just blasted the hell outta those alien assholes.

Seriously, slimy greenish translucent alien guts were raining down on me and were starting to coat the platform right next to the airlock.

I was too busy screaming in relief and celebration to notice that a few many-legged alien larvae scuttled right past me and disappeared into a crack between the wall and the floor. I looked and felt like a badass Sigourney – white tank top and toned arms.

The scene shifted abruptly and my ship had finally landed back on Earth. Somehow, I was able to maneuver and dock my poor, banged-up spacecraft into the interior of this official-looking massive gray building, like plugging it back into a socket to recharge. Was this NASA? Or some private entity, perhaps. A lot had changed since I’d been gone.

I disembarked and found the sterile, industrial building completely deserted. Something felt eerily off. I found the exit, shoved open the heavy steel doors, and ran to the nearest patch of dirt and grass, my whole body collapsing and my fingers pawing at the ground. The grass felt so good between my fingers and the dirt under my nails. Home.

And then, a clanging sound echoed from within the building. It became so strong that I started to feel vibrations through the ground. I scrambled to my feet and started to walk backwards, keeping the building in sight.

With little warning, the main double doors slammed open and a huge creature rumbled out. It looked like that rock-eating rock monster from The Neverending Story, only meaner. And faster.

It saw me and started walking. Crashing.

Oh shit.

I took off running, even though I didn’t feel like I had anything left in me.

The scene changed again, and I had found a house. Was it mine? It seemed familiar, and I knew it’d be unlocked.

I ran upstairs and hid, tried to steady my rapid breathing. The rhythmic thumping and crashing was shaking the whole house now, and any second I’d hear it start to rip the house apart.

Behaving more human than I’d thought, it came through the door and up the stairs, smashing them as it went. It was clearly searching. For me.

In an effort to not get cornered in the bedroom, I tried to slip past it and into the hallway. I figured out quickly that it had poor eyesight and relied mostly on sound. Maybe smell?

Pressed my back against the wall and held my breath, closed one eye. It (he?) stomped past and I wondered how long the house would stand at this rate. Once it was well into the next room, I threw myself down the stairs, avoiding the holes where steps used to be and all the broken, pointy shards of wood jutting out everywhere.

Sweaty, filthy, and heaving, I lunged for the door, or the wood in my way that used to serve as a door. I heard a growl reverberate from behind. My right arm reached out in front, and I turned my head to glance back over my shoulder.

That very moment…was when my kids woke me up.

That day, I was watching Frozen with the very same children who disturbed my slumber. It was the scene where Anna goes to Elsa in her ice castle to tell her what has happened to Arendelle. Her fear and desperation building, Elsa creates a huge and scary snow monster named Marshmallow.

Hey! I yelled at no one in particular, pointing to the screen.

That’s my rock alien!


nanopoblano2019

 

I am sad and angry, but I am not shocked.

I had wanted to write a funny post, and a post about my life post- being pressly freshed, but I don’t think today’s that day.  Some other time, hopefully sooner rather than later.

—–

Another shooting.

I was a junior in high school when Columbine happened.  I was in my first year of grad school, living on the east coast when Virginia Tech happened.

I am no longer shocked when these things happen.  I stopped being shocked long ago.

I cringe when people/the media call school shootings “shocking,” because, to me, the word shocking implies that it was unexpected or we’re unable to understand what happened or why it happened – and that scares me.  To imply disbelief holds these events at arm’s length when we should be examining these public shooting phenomena under a microscope, from every angle.

The same goes for when people/the media call the shooter “a monster” or some other fantasy-like term.  To call someone a monster is to call ve an other – to distance that person for the sake of emotional protection.  If we claim an inability to explain or understand, then we’re able to wash our hands of the problem – because how can we fix something if we can’t or won’t understand it?

A third gripe is when people/the media say that the shooter “just snapped” as if this behavior, this decision to shoot people came out of frickin nowhere.  Human behavior is very predictable.  Our past behavior informs our future behavior.  There are always warning signs before someone gets to the point of going on one of these shooting sprees and I wish that instead of applying a grossly false and simplistic excuse, that we instead ask the question: what were the warning signs, and who ignored them?

I implore you to contribute to the dialogue around all this violence, because it’s going to take all of us to stop it, to prevent it.  I hope we stop blaming only guns, and stop calling for only gun control…or gun control and metal detectors…or gun control, metal detectors, and background checks.  I hope we stop dehumanizing the shooters and see them as human beings who we failed to help when they needed help the most.  I hope we work hard to reach out to people when we see them struggling with mental health issues – depression, violent tendencies, a lack of healthy coping skills, a lack of a healthy support system.

My bottom line is that we can’t ignore this problem or put bandaids on it any longer.  This virus is festering and spreading and I’m scared.  We must look at the root causes of this systemic violence and move towards prevention.

Today, I am very sad and angry, but I choose not to be shocked.