Friday, January 28, 2011

The Expedition

In the still of the night, the creature’s eyes appeared as intense red laser beams that could pierce steel plated armor. I braced for the onslaught of the charging beast while I wondered how I managed to steer the expedition into what must be the end of our young lives.

Lara’s look said it all. “Had to be the top archeologist on the planet, didn’t you? Had to drag us around the globe to unspeakable places that chill our bodies and warp our brains, didn’t you?” The accusation she hurled at me from the trip’s bumpy beginning with cancelled flights, late trains, and corrupt customs agent at every country’s borders. But all I wanted was the truth about the origins of our civilization. Don’t we have the right to know about our past, our beginning, our heritage?

The creature’s eyes took on the glow of hot flaming coals sitting on a bar-be-que, and I think we were on the menu. It stared directly into my eyes then at the rest of our group of capricious anthropologists.

Dr. Bondweahter’s squeaky voice whined. “Oh my god, this thing will tear us to pieces. This is your doing, Thom. You just had to bump your ego with a new discovery, didn’t you?”
Keeping my eyes on our destroyer, I yelled. “Shut up and do something constructive for a change. I’m tired of your whining.”

Lara said, “What would you like him to do?”

“He could offer himself as a meal to our friend here, while the rest of us escape.” I retorted. “He’s a pain in the neck.”

“Bondweather screamed, “If you weren’t so rambunctious we wouldn’t be in the predicament. The university cautioned us about going to this location, but you and your overweight ego had to do it anyhow, didn’t you?”

They were right. I had to be the best; nothing less was acceptable to me. Now all their lives are in danger. Only one choice remained.

I yelled, “I’ll keep the beast busy, all of you back away slowly, then run when you think you can break away.”

The tiny expedition of six began walking backwards as I turned to face the lizard-like monster that stood erect as humans do. I reached for the knife on my belt, but this only enraged the strange being. It’s nostrils flared emitting some type of vapor until I moved an empty hand back to my side.

Now I was more curious than scared. I shrugged my shoulders turned my palms up in a questioning gesture. The lizard-man emulated the gesture.

“What do you want?” I asked.

“That song,” a very raspy voice queried.


“The one you sang while you walked into the valley. Sing it for me.”

“Sing it for you?”

“Yes,” the hoarse sounding voice replied. “It brings back such fond memories of the woman I loved.”

What else could I do? I cleared my throat and sang.

“In the still of the night.”

I stopped. “Wait a second. It’ll sound better with the accompaniment. Just start singing, Sho be do, sho be do.

Lizard-man opened his mouth and with a raspy baritone voice sang. “Sho be doe, sho be doe.”

I continued.

“In the still of the night…”

The original platter was cut in a VFW post in Bridgeport Connecticut with no instruments. At the end of the recording the sound of a truck backfire echoed in the background.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The First Time I Met God

It happened while I was still shrouded in innocence and naiveté.

It was about 5:30 AM, and it felt very cold. The early morning sky was tremendously dark hanging like an enormous blanket over the city; no stars were visible on this still windless morning. I carefully made my way down the driveway onto the sidewalk noting the shadowy tree figures created by the single lamppost at the corner of the block.

I began staring upward into the darkness thinking about how unusual everything appeared, almost black on black. The light from the lamppost, without which I’m sure I would have seen nothing, almost resembled a wayward moon disrupting the magnificent stillness of the moment. I intentionally avoided looking directly at the glaring sphere and focused on the stark black sky. It was beautiful.

As I passed under the lamppost still staring at the early morning heavens I heard something I cannot describe, something electric, like a soft sizzling sound that caused my body to tingle. I slowed and looked straight upward towards heaven. There was total darkness for a while. Then there were hundreds, maybe thousands of brilliant white stars illuminating the heavens, and descending upon me, in a slow and graceful dance as if they were being manipulated by some hidden puppeteer who was veiled by the mysterious predawn sky. I froze in place.

There was a peculiar exciting feeling in the air and I wanted to know more about it. As I waited, warmth filled my being, comfortable feelings soothed me, and I felt tremendous peace. This was truly wonderful. “It must be God,” I thought.

The cold snowflakes hit my face and exploded into water as they set down upon my warm skin. I stood there for a few minutes, and then continued on my way.

Friday, January 21, 2011

The Future Debate

Announcer standing in the middle of the dimly lit, stage, three people sitting, one woman, one man, and one androgynous creature between the two, with pad and pen in hand. The announcer (can be to the gender of your preference) smiles and quietly states.

“Good evening and welcome viewers. This is an amazing discussion we are about to witness, for with the magic of science and technology, we have been able to acquire DNA from Carolyn Merchant and Susan Bordo to create Suslyn Merdo, and Paul Gross and Norman Levitt, to create Norual Groman. This spectacular achievement in itself is cause for great discussion, however we would like to narrow the discussion to the difference in their perspectives regarding the contribution of science and the effect of male domination of the issue. I’ll now turn this over to our host, Pat.

Thanks to both of you for being here this evening; I know you have tremendously busy with you work. We have drawn numbers, lowest number to speak first, in order to avoid the “women first…age before beauty debate, and Suslyn you have won. Please begin.

Suslyn: Males have dominated science, raped “Mother Earth’s” offering, used witch-hunts to eliminate independent women, and forced us to live under Capitalism. They’ve used science to accomplish this, and have destroyed Natures opulence in the process. People are forced into labors they do not desire because of industrial over-consumption and rely on disputable scientific babble to continue this charade, which merely allows males to run the show, and dominate women.

Norul: Suslyn, you forgot to invent new vocabulary to totally misrepresent the true nature of science, which leads me to believe you have failed to even attempt to understand the nature of that which you despise. You seem to desire a return to the Medieval times…have your truly considered the absurd nature of the thought? For Capitalism, when practiced in the true Libertarian ideal of John Locke, doesn’t it allow for individuals, including women, to live whatever way they choose?

Suslyn: Capitalism imprisons people in meaningless work, destroys Nature and alienates people. During Medieval times, we had the proper organic vision of Nature and took steps to care for it. People used renewable wood for heating and cooking; there was a wonderful respect for nature…this was before men used machines to reorder the world to their pleasure, and concentrate their power, and force the world into submission, and you even have the gall to try to manage Nature, which should not be tampered with.

Norul: I believe woman’s suffrage came to being under Capitalism, and now you have achieved prominence under this system you deplore so greatly, and that is admirable, but to assert life was better when, sorcery, alchemy and the lowest of classes bore the brunt of work, taxes and fighting for the richest of the rich is just plain silly. Imagine being a peasant girl of then, working in the fields, no reading or writing skills, using superstition to combat the plague, eating probably nothing but bread for sustenance and having no control over your destiny; for being a peasant, that’s where you remained. I wonder whom your father would have married you to, with so little choice to make.

Suslyn: You men still, totally ignore the plight of the ecosystems; you are destroying Nature itself. Your bases for truth is in error, look at all of the mistakes Descartes made in Meditations.
Norul: My dear Suslyn, not too many scientists ever took these thoughts to be held as dogma, for if science becomes dogma, it is of no use to human existence; this is why we continually test and retest for verification. I truly believe your anger towards science is misdirected. The issue you speak of is originated in the Book of Genesis, in the following sentence, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” The book was stacked against you from the beginning, not as the result of the science, which allowed freedom to the masses. Maybe you have a grip for making men physically stronger than women.

The camera focuses on the announcer:
This issue will not be solved any time soon. Both side have valid points, however, neither is totally correct, and neither seems willing to compromise, for we are mortal, fallible beings in search of answers we cannot seem to find, and even if we find such answers, we may not be able to comprehend them.