Friday, August 24, 2018

Abducted (Part One)

If you're new here, this is a weekly column consisting of letters written to my grandchildren (who exist) and my great-grandchildren (who aren't here yet) — the Stickies — to haunt them after they become grups and/or I'm dead.

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Irregularly Appearing Imaginary Guest Stars
Marie-Louise -- My beautiful muse 
Iggy -- My designated Sticky
Dana -- My designated gentlereader

"Sometime I wish the aliens would abduct me and crown me as their leader."
                                                                                        -George Noory

Dear (eventual) Grandstickies & Great-Grandstickies,

No letter per se this week, part one of a story.

You're sitting on your front porch on a soft summer night, alone and ruminating. You're thinking about the ironic contrast between your rotten mood and the beautiful evening. He (or she) is gone. Looks like this time for good. Your heart is aching, but there's also a sense of relief.

Or, you're happily married, have two relatively well-adjusted kids, and a decent paying job. Everyone's asleep but you. You had a shitty day at work. You fear this is your new normal. Your new boss, a Type A V.P. with an MBA, is keeping you up nights, dreading the next workday.

Or, you're a...

Blinding light -- the smell of an overloaded electrical wire -- a loud industrial, grating sound -- blackness. You awaken and find yourself comfortably ensconced in an easy chair. As you shrug off sleep you note that you feel incredibly well rested and peaceful. You notice warm, peanut butter swirled brownies and a glass of ice cold whole milk on a little table to your right. You take a bite of a brownie and wash it down with a swallow of milk. Mmmm. Repeat. 

Looking around you notice you're in a room that looks like a set designer's version of the perfect grandma's living roomIt occurs to you that you may still be asleep. You don't care though. It's a very nice dream.

A door opens and in walks a grandma straight out of central casting. She favors you with a warm smile and says, "Oh good, you're awake," and sits down in another easy chair, directly opposite you.

And then things get really weird.

She explains that, for lack of a better term, you've been abducted by aliens from a planet called Tralfamadore. You mention that this situation doesn't seem to match up with any of the abduction stories recounted by guests on that late night radio show that you sometimes listen to. The one you find to be mostly goofy, but that can serve as a sleep aid. She smiles and says, "But a lot of those folks are crazy people dear, and a lot of them are just people trying to make a buck."

Obviously, you are dreaming, but it all seems, she seems, so real. You look around and everything in the room is sharply defined and, well, real looking. You stand up and walk around, start touching things. Curtains, plants, knick-knacks, furniture -- it all feels real enough. "Grandma" just watches. You sit back down and you notice grandma has a warm, genuine smile on her face. You get the feeling she's observing you closely. You return her smile, you can't help it, you feel so warm and safe. Who wouldn't if they met this old-fashioned movie version of a grandma, in this setting?

"I'm dreaming, right? This is just a dream -- right?" you ask.

"Well, yes and no dear. You're awake, and conversing with a, uh, person, that physically and emotionally embodies, via what, well, you'd call it software, has determined will provide you with a safe and comfortable environment for an interview."

"I see...," you reply, "Sort of. And who are you exactly? And what do you mean, interview?"

"I'm what you'd describe as an academic type. My field is what you'd call anthropology. Most of my colleagues specialize in a given planet, my focus is even more narrow than that, I specialize in a particular country of a particular planet, the one you're from, the USA. As to the interview, it's exactly what you might think. I simply want to ask you some questions."

"But why me, and why the USA? Wait a minute... are we somehow special, or different, or whatever, as far as a given country on a given planet goes?

Grandma chuckles. "Oh no dear, not to most, but I can't seem to get enough of America myself."

"Yeah? why me then, I... "

"That software I mentioned dear, I honestly don't know a lot about how it does what it does, not my field you understand. I do know it usually works very well though, and one of the many things it does well is to pick my interview subjects."

"But what if I don't want to be interviewed, am I your prisoner? What if... "

"Oh, you're free to go, dear, anytime you like, now or later. Shall I take you back?"


"Of course dear. It would be unethical to hold you against your will. Shall I take you back?"

"But what if I tell everyone, what if ..."

She interrupts. "Well, that's up to you dear, you could write a book, perhaps be a guest on that radio show you mentioned. If you'd prefer, I could erase all memory of this experience. Or, I could..."

"How about if I see how it goes?, I mean, this interview thing, it might be interesting. If I decide to pull the plug at some point, I'm still free to go?

"Of course, dear. Before we get started, could I fix you something to eat? Are you hungry? Would you like something besides the brownies?"

"No, I'm good, thanks."

"OK then! Shall we get started?"

[Poppa loves you.]

Have an OK day.
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©2018 Mark Mehlmauer   

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