The Eye

I remember it well because it was the last thing worth remembering and, of all days, it happened on a Tuesday. The sky was impeccably blue, and it was finally cool enough to go outside without being wrung out like a gym towel. I saved my breaks for the second half of the day so as to make the day go faster, and I used those breaks to go to the designated smoking area to make all of this go a little faster. I had a few left of my third Last Pack of the year and I was torn between savoring them or burning through them. I went to the corner of the little fenced in area where smoking was permitted and in no way would any of this bad smoke trickle through the many gaps in the aluminum fence and pollute the FitBit types who used their breaks for walking or even jogging. I was on my phone catching up on everyone. The usual; someone is pregnant, someone is engaged, someone isn’t engaged, someone hasn’t died, someone did. I didn’t or haven’t interacted with any of these people in years. I just flip through them occasionally like a bathroom book. I don’t need to really focus, I just need the gist.

What snaps me out of it usually is the time, ever present at the top of my phone. And I am sure to milk every last second until, under seemingly no control of my own, I find myself back at my desk with earphones in. This time it was a scream, the kind of scream that matches your body’s frequency and melts through to your core. No one screams at work. It’s an activity reserved for home. By the time I found the screamer all the blood in her body pooled to her shoes and she was crashing to the ground, several people rushing to break her fall. The whole time, the woman’s eyes were fixated to the sky. I followed her line of vision to the sky, when I saw the sky blink. Above us, all of us, I could have only presumed, was a planetary eye. It matched the color of the sky, though when I tried to get the story straight later on some people claimed it was brown, green, and even pitch black. Some people remember it eclipsing the sun, casting Earth into darkness. Some people didn’t see it at all, but wanted to latch their claim to the event early on so they would have something to talk about. To me the eye was blue. My eyes are blue. It had a pupil that dwarved the moon. There were shimmering, squiggly bands that seemed to encompass the pupil and everything blue in the eye seemed to gravitate toward it. It stared at me, at all of us. It was overbearing. It didn’t move and yet it felt like it was crushing me. I almost couldn’t look at it. I tried to comprehend a body to go with the eye. It was a sensation that paralyzed me to the bench I had been sitting on.

“Cut it out.”

The voice rang across the Earth, coming on a strong wind, shaking trees and bones alike.

And just like that, the eye was gone, disappeared, and who knows when it would come back again.

I took the afternoon off work. Most people did, I think, for the loss of productivity ended up being newsworthy. The unthinkably large eye dominated news outlets for a few days before it was certain that there would be no why, that sometimes these things happen and we’re left asking more questions than getting answers. It happened, and then it wasn’t. Was it God? Was it a mass hallucination? Was it the collective unconscious? I don’t know, but a lot of us are very worried about the whole thing, and we’re hoping that whoever needed to cut it out, has.

But if it thinks I’m cutting smoking, well…

A Hypothetical on Alien Invasions

Allow me to preface this by stating that I do not sleep with a tinfoil hat on.

I had this dream one night about five years ago.  In this dream I was walking down a street in my neighborhood.  Everything looked as it would if I was awake.  Meanwhile, outside of my subconscious, a powerful thunderstorm was raging through.  Realizing this, I guess my brain decided it wanted to process the thunder.  I got to the corner of a street and I hear this massive explosion like a dynamite factory went up in flames.  I look up to see tons of flying saucers shooting and obliterating everything in sight.  I start running but dream sprinting is always pathetic so instead of Usain Bolting it I was forced to chug along while everyone and everything around me was vaporized. Sigmund Freud says that dreams are used to fulfill wishes.  That dream stuck with me but not because of the juxtaposition of thunder.  It showed me how a realistic alien invasion would occur.

If sci-fi movies have taught me anything, it’s that extraterrestrial beings are mostly bad things that represent some kind of realistic “other” that I’m supposed to be afraid of like Communists, Terrorists, etc.  Movies tend to show mysterious objects coming toward Earth and landing here before attacking (Battle Los Angeles, Independence Day, and War of The Worlds among countless others).  In real life, people speak of mysterious objects in the sky that disappear in between blinks.  They speak of dancing lights and weird orbs.  We see paintings and markings from hundreds, even thousands, of years ago depicting weird saucers and inventions millennia ahead of their time. They ask why aliens need to probe and mutilate cows.  They ask why aliens need to come into their bedroom and kidnap them.  The short answer to this is that they haven’t done any of the things mentioned above.  The longer answer is that they haven’t done any of those things because they wouldn’t need to.

People believe that extraterrestrial beings have been watching us for years.  We also believe that their technology is light-years ahead of anything we have now.  If we put these (hypothetical) facts together then they should be able to watch us without us knowing.  Imagine some twenty-tentacled dude with 500 eyes.  Now imagine thousands of them looking at these hologram surveillance devices on their home planet, taking meticulous notes and studying.  They’d probably have hundreds of years of data on humans compiled at this point.  All it would take is some superior tentacled creature to give the order.  Whether they harnessed faster-than-light travel or wormholes would be irrelevant because their ships would still move insanely fast.  Sometimes scientists can barely see near-Earth asteroids too late.  Would they be able to see a fleet of warships?  These ships would be precise.  They could barrel down on every major capital, city, port, etc. And lay waste to it before anyone could look up to sky and scream.  It would be Shock and Awe to the nth degree.

It seems hard to believe that something that catastrophic could sneak up on us like that.  It shouldn’t.  We’ve seen or read first-hand accounts of sneak attacks in modern history and it’s still argued that people knew about it beforehand.  We can’t keep up with the happenings on our own planet, let alone a solar system, let alone a universe.  An alien invasion wouldn’t chug along to us like the way I ran in my dream.  It would be like the lightning outside my dream.