Tuesday, May 8, 2007

One problematic aspect of growing up in the Midwest is the preponderance of alien abductions. It hasn't happened to me, but it happens a lot, and I heard enough about it growing up to make me sufficiently terrified (my 6th grade final paper was entitled, "Did Aliens kill JFK?" Not. Even. Kidding.)The moment that really cemented my irrational fear of beings from another planet was a program on PBS I watched late one night when I was about 9. The program was animated, so being the naive little girl that I was I assumed it was something akin to Animaniacs, but no, it was the animated stories of alien abduction survivors. I sat riveted, unable to take my eyes away from the screen as a cartoon man who looked a little like Einstein described how the aliens told him they took him because he was smarter than most humans. They told him they wanted to understand how intelligent humans act and placed him in a burning building to understand the concept of fear. I started shaking and I wet myself. Then I composed this note to the aliens and hung it on my door for the remainder of my ninth year of life:

I know you think I am very smart and special, but I am not smart or special. I know I won the spelling bee, but Brian Finklestein really did know how to spell 'amoeba' too, he just messed up. Please take him to study. He is the smartest person in the class. I will not provide any interesting information.

It's easy to forget about UFO sightings living in New York (I tend to concentrate my anxiety mostly on terrorism and Republicanism) but when I was back in Minnesota this past weekend, alien anxiety came back in full force. I was sleeping in my childhood bed and I had a dream that my name was Roberta, I was 14, and my mom and sister were taking me into space for my birthday. For some reason, once we were up in space I felt an insistent urge to go to Mars for the greater benefit of humankind. I jumped through a wormhole before my mom could stop me, and I remember the vivid image of landing hard on my knees, dust floating up from the planet floor upon impact, then a big pair of slimy red feet right before me coming into view as the dust cleared. It was a Martian. He grabbed me, his talons digging into my arm, and he telepathically communicated with his cohort that "the plan had worked." It all became clear once we were in the Martian cave: The lead Martian had come to Earth two years earlier and impregnated me in my sleep, but my mom had foiled the plan by getting me an abortion. This time, however, would be different--The Martian was going to rape me then keep me on Mars for the full term of the pregnancy. I woke up before the big scary Martian penis was about to.....you know.

Upon waking I took double birth control. Just in case.

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