Sunday, March 30, 2008

Sunday Scribblings & 5 Minute Doodle: For the love of Zor

Today I checked in with Sunday Scribblings and the 5 Minute Doodle only to see that both topics this week are about space. What kind of freaky alignment of the virtual planets is going on here on the internets? Why is everyone thinking about space this week, and didn't The Universe notice that I wrote about it last week, and said it made my head want to explode? Do I really have to go there again? Argh. But then I remembered this story.

The summer before I started college in the big city, I worked construction in my hometown building a community daycare center. The center was being built mostly on donations so there wasn't a huge budget for a construction crew. I came on the scene after the walls were up to help wire the place, do some plumbing, painting, and finish work on the floors. It was just me and the foreman, and the occasional community volunteer.

The foreman on the job was a guy I'll call Aaron. He was sort of a drifter, with lots of odd tattoos and a wacky, asymmetrical buzz cut that included a long rat tail down one side. He had some strange mannerisms, but was pretty a laid back boss. His looks didn't phase me, as I had just come back from attending a year of technical school with a bunch of heavily pierced, dreadlocked, punk-rock lady squatters in Amsterdam. Compared to that bunch this guy was pretty benign.

We were working on pulling some wire one hot afternoon when Aaron turned to me and asked "Do you believe in aliens?". "Uhm, I dunno", was my honest teenage reply. I'd seen plenty of old Star Trek reruns, and my dad and I had spent many lazy Sunday afternoons watching Sci-Fi movies on TV together but I really hadn't given it much thought beyond that. Aliens interested me about as much as who'd be playing in the World Series that fall. Which is to say, not much.

Oh how I'd wish I'd come out swinging with some kind of definite answer, because my indifference was about to haunt me for the rest of the summer . See, it turns out Aaron and his girlfriend could channel for some creature named Zor from the planet Zordon. No, I'm not kidding. This really happened.

Aaron was fluent in many extraterrestrial languages, and would sometimes teach me the alien names for things on the job-site. It's really too bad I can't remember the Zordonian word for "hammer". He told me that I too could channel for extraterrestrial life if I just got in touch with my own inner alien. Inner what?

At least once a day he'd ask me if I'd changed my ho-hum stance on alien life. And each day I'd just respond with my same "I dunno". He was relentless in inviting me and my boyfriend to come watch him channel for Zor, which he did every Tuesday night. Sometimes he'd try to tempt me by letting me know that this week, he was going to channel for a different alien life form. As if Zor wasn't compelling enough.

It creeped me out a little, but I also thought it was funny. My boyfriend (now my hubby) and I seriously considered going, because we thought it would be so hilarious. But we never went. After a long hot day of work all my inner alien wanted to do was take a shower, grab a big bowl of ice cream, and curl up with a good book.

Near the end of my summer job, Aaron brought to work what he thought would be the defining piece of evidence in his quest to prove to me that aliens really walked among us. It was a coffee table book of photos of spaceships visiting earth. It was chock full of fuzzy black and white pictures with little discs hovering in the air. He was so excited to show me the book, he could hardly contain himself. I remember standing in the daycare kitchen with him as he flipped through the pages, pointing out to me all the different ships. See? See? How could I be do indifferent? Here was rock solid proof. This was in the pre-Photoshop era, and you could see how these photos had been altered using rough cut and paste techniques. It made me feel kind of sad.

"Take the book home", he urged, "read it and then tell me what you think". "Sure." I said, and he seemed satisfied. Finally, he had a glimmer of hope that I'd come around. That evening as I was gathering my things to take home I purposely left the book sitting there on the counter untouched. I left it there the next night and the night after that, and then the daycare center was done. He never talked to me about it again.

After our last day of work, Aaron mysteriously disappeared. No one in our town ever heard from him again. He probably just drifted out of town, on to another job. But I like to imagine that maybe he packed up his things, and blasted off to the planet Zordon where he happily works as an English translator for Zor and all of his pals.


gautami tripathy said...

Delightful story!

Loved it.

debris of our making

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Aww, I can't believe you left the book behind!

And yes, I think Aaron's up on Zor. Quite happily, too.

Amarettogirl said...

One of those perfect examples of how life is stranger than fiction! great story and such an enjoyable/believable read!!!