“Though like the wanderer, the sun gone down/Darkness be over me, my rest a stone/Yet in my dreams I’d be nearer, my God, to Thee” Nearer, My God, to Thee – Sarah Flower Adams
They stopped taking garbage about two weeks ago. There was still a Public Works Department in the sense that the building they house the garbage trucks is still standing, and if you really wanted your garbage collected you could probably figure out how to get the truck started and if you were really lucky enough, no one had thought to siphon the gasoline from the trucks, so you just might make it to your house and back provided you didn’t hit a skid of garbage juice and careen the truck into someone’s home. They, the public works people, weren’t coming back. The summer kids, all fresh out of high school, were making $8.50 an hour at best and the salaried workers weren’t doing much better. And yet people had still put their garbage out, though some rebellious types neglected to put on stickers. It was the little things you missed. You didn’t realize how much you needed sanitation workers until the streets filled with garbage ooze; an olive-green liquid squeezed from spoiled meat, cat food, and baby shit. To add to the list of things you take for granted; your nose. These smells never went away, you just get used to them.
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.