“Will there be another race to come along and take over for us? Maybe martians could do better than we’ve done? We’ll make great pets.” ~ Porno for Pyros
Last night, hubby and I watched a film with aliens life forms. I actually selected and had Netflix send me a movie about aliens. For years I avoided alien movies because of post traumatic stress disorder. No, I am not going to recount a tale of my own abduction into an alien ship where I experienced the dreaded alien probe because that did not happen. At least not yet.
But, when I was in sixth grade, I had an absolutely certifiable science teacher who taught a unit about extraterrestrials. I am not kidding. Thank you, Mr. Marcus, for showing us photos of cow mutilations and crop circles, for playing a recording of War of the Worlds without telling us that it was a performance based on a book and not an actual event, and for sharing with us photos of supposed unidentified flying objects. Seriously? I was an impressionable 12 year old with a vivid imagination. What were you thinking? Thanks to you I spent at least six months having bad dreams. (I still remember some of them, by the way.) Thanks to you even ET freaked me out. Thanks to you I was in my mid-20’s when I finally steadied my nerves enough to see Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Thanks to you I will never be able to watch Cloverfield, Body Snatchers, or even Cocoon. Okay. Maybe I’ll watch Cocoon someday, but I’ll probably never see District 9, which is too bad because I understand it was a fairly decent film. Yes, indeed. Thank you, Mr. Marcus, for scarring me for life because you wanted to share your fascination with the supernatural with a classroom filled with six graders. I bet you are retired and living in Roswell now, happy as a clam in your shiny, silver double wide, while I still suffer from the after effects of your teaching.
Anyway, I was reasonably impressed with myself for watching that alien movie last night without losing it. And, when I had to pause the movie and go downstairs to put my laptop to bed, I was proud of myself for holding it together in our dark house and walking back up the stairs even though I wanted to run because there could be an alien downstairs waiting to bite my head off once I let my guard down. Doesn’t matter if I had to give myself a little pep talk to work through that moment of fear, to take each step deliberately and without terror. I made it. I even turned the movie back on and finished it when I got back to bed. I consider that real progress…approximately 31 years in the making.
I kid about this now, but once it was quite real to me. There was a time when I couldn’t drive down a dark, isolated road at night without wondering when my car would suddenly lose power and I’d see the bright flash of light from a UFO. Since that time, however, I’ve been able to put a few decades worth of distance between me and those memories. I also found peace by reasoning that if aliens have been abducting scores of us and yet haven’t invaded, they must realize we’re not worth the trouble. They’re probably waiting until we’ve killed each other off so they can take over Earth without having to deal with unstable life forms on this planet. Or, if my worst nightmare (literally) comes true, then Perry Farrell of Porno for Pyros will have predicted it correctly and we’ll all become pets. Given my natural inclination toward random acts of mental terrorism from figures of authority, I’m sure I’ll make a wonderfully obsequious pet for some alien.