Taking the long way home
(This was the original concept for my video “Helping to get ET Home.” I abandoned this sf monologue to go with a more autobiographical tale from my days in the rooming house. This version, however, blends War of the Worlds, ET and a few other films)
The moment I saw the thing in the shipping container I knew it wasn’t human – or any animal that we ever saw come through Port Newark.
But I could guess with the way it stared at me with its big single yellow eye that it was young – maybe even an infant.
That scared me more than it’s not being of this earth.
I was never good at handling anything fragile, even my own kids – a fact my wife never tired of complaining about.
Rocco – my best buddy at the docks – said we should kill it.
He hated anything different.
He never understood why people saved stray cats or fed raccoons
To him anything that wasn’t human was a nuisance. He even viewed some humans that way.
But he kept harping on about Home Land Security and what the government might do if we reported finding this.
He believed the government would blame us for sneaking in terrorists.
I knew in some strange way he talked sense.
But I also knew better than to turn anything helpless over to a government for whom investigation was another word for The Inquisition.
Maybe, in thinking back on it, I figured I needed to help it in order to mend something I saw was broken in me.
So I convinced Rocco into helping me bring it home.
My wife screamed the moment she saw it and said it stank, demanding we take it out to the garage.
My kids thought it was a toy and wanted to play with it.
Then, the thing started wailing like a siren in what I later learned was its calling for its mother – whatever and wherever that was.
I kept thinking one of the neighbors would call the police figuring I had finally flipped my lid and started killing my kids.
I never felt as helpless as I did then, except maybe for those few times when my wife had trusted me to take care of the kids when they were infants and one or more would not stop crying.
I didn’t know what to say or do.
And I was the worst person on the planet to deal with an infant alien.
Maybe my constant talking to it or Rocco’s moaning made the creature stop wailing. Or maybe it just liked the garage which was dark and safe.
Rocco looked a wreck, but seemed happier, too, now that we had the beast out of sight of satellite surveillance, telling me “they” meaning the government can see us anywhere.
Rocco meant well, even if he kept saying we were better off killing the creature and burying it in the back yard.
But he didn’t insist.
Meanwhile the beast – whatever it was – seemed to coo, a sign I later learn was a sign it was happy.
And as strange as this sounds – considering I already had three kids – this was the first time I felt like a father.
Peace ended when the creature let out yet another wail.
Rocco flipped, begging for me to stop it.
I asked how.
He said the creature was probably hungry
I said I didn’t know what it ate
He said if all the movies were right, it probably ate human blood, and offered to cut open my finger in order to accommodate it.
This time one of the neighbors did call the police (or perhaps it was my wife) because a few minutes later, the wailed was echoed by the approach of a siren.
Rocco moaned that the government would keep us in prison for the rest of our lives.
I yelled for him to give me a hand getting the creature into the back of my pickup truck.
We burst out of the garage just as the cops started knocking on my front door.
Rocco asked where we were going.
I told him I had no idea.
Then Rocco saw the helicopters and claimed they were coming for us.
We lost them when I stopped the truck under a bridge, and then drove towards a deserted section of the waterfront where I hoped I could find time to think.
Then something bumped the hood of the truck.
Rocco screamed saying we were flying.
In truth, something was sucking us up – and we soon found ourselves sitting it something very dark that continue to rise, and rise.
I don’t know where we are – although Rocco claims he saw the glint of a passing satellite.
As for the thing in the bed of the truck, it seemed happy, cooing happily, though I thought for a moment I heard it call me “Momma.”