I take a look at my hall pass, and the lifeclock is a big fat black color.  For whatever reason, the boog-a-loos don’t come descending on my head.  They haven’t departed.  The house is still haunted with weird stuff.  The faucet in the kitchen is now leaking.  I have to get that taken care of.  The electrical guys haven’t been back to finish the work.  I guess I’m just learning to live with wacky toilet time, the creaks and groans at night, and the bugs that appear to plague me.

K and I used last weekend to organize and unpack from our emergency move a year and three months ago.  We got good work done, and cleared some space, which was a help.  I got some of my piles of papers back into line, and came across a poster from back in the day.

The poster came with an Alien doll I got back during the craze of the movie that came out in 1979.  It’s a drawing of scenes from the movie with a few artistic licenses thrown in.  That movie was all the rage with my classmates in 6th grade.  A group of folks from a rival class tried to put together a home movie based on their devotion to that science fiction classic.  Crumbs, if only they’d had YouTube back then.

I dug out my Alien baseball trading cards, a complete set except for number 61 – “the chest-burster”, and gazed at all the pictures.  The puzzles got me to thinking about back when movie trading cards were all the rage after Star Wars.  I have to organize these darn cards of mine someday – Blue, red, yellow, green and orange Star Wars cards to name a few.

I had to trade that one for card number 1.  Back then number 61 cards were a dime a dozen, so I figured I’d be able to get another one easy.  Unfortunately, the series stopped being sold on my next trip to the local seven-eleven (which is a hair salon now, go figure), and I’d somehow given away all my extras.

I meditate on the movie, and recollect memories from my young fascination with the film.  I decide to go to Best-Cry and buy the DVD for ten bucks, as I haven’t yet added it to my collection.  K and I have an evening where we watch the movie and have a blast.

I remember seeing Alien for the first time at a late show in D.C., at a theater that sadly, no longer exists (though you can see it in Exorcist III – the main character and his best friend go there for their yearly mourning ritual to watch It’s a Wonderful Life).  Alien scared the pants off the crowd several times.  It was awesome.

The DVD has several deleted scenes that I’ve never seen, and which are actually pretty good.  I feel like I’m seeing an old friend again, and discovering something new about them.  I rethink my old experiences in light of the new scenes and how I might have thought.

My copy of the novel comes off the shelf and I read it three times to get every nuance.  A line from the scene where the remaining crewmembers are talking to the decapitated head of Ash the android sticks out at me.  He asks them if they’ve tried to communicate with the alien.  It’s a dead end for the crewmembers, but I wonder if Ash, being an android with a gender-neutral point of view, isn’t speaking of something outside the crew’s immediate experience.  He was probably trying to mislead them, but he might have thrown them a crumb from the limits of his artificial brain process.

I get to obsessing over the film.  Then I start looking up Bigfoot movies that I suddenly remember watching on Channel 20 WDCA during that channel’s glory years.  There’s this movie where a bunch of college students uncover a mummified Bigfoot and it comes back to life to rampage.  I used a tape recorder to tape the sound when I was a kid, and I listened to it at night with my blankets over my head for years until I recorded over it.  I use the mighty power of the internets and find out it’s called Curse of Bigfoot, and it’s available on Amazon.

My investigations go deeper.  There’s a Bigfoot movie called Creature from Black Lake that I’ve never seen, but I think I might have and forgotten.  See, there’s this scary music hook that I can always remember and associate with Bigfoot.  But I don’t know where it’s from.  So I Netflix the movie and see if that leads to anything.  K shakes her head at my poor taste in B-movies, but I think Creature from Black Lake actually is a decent monster movie.  It does not produce the music I’m straining to remember, however.

I finally go to YouTube and find an old show called Monsters, Mysteries, or Myths, which was narrated by Rod Sterling of Twilight Zone fame.  It’s a TV show that tried to explore Bigfoot, the Abominable Snowman, and the Loch Ness Monster from a “somewhat” scientific viewpoint.  There’s a three to five second sound bite where the music that’s stuck in my head plays, and I recognize it.

It’s weird, because that one brief sound bite has stuck in my head since 1975, and only now do I reconnect with it and get into the vibe with a show that scared me so bad I couldn’t sleep for weeks.  The show was re-edited with a different narrator and shown again in the early 1980s as The Mysterious Monsters, which I think I saw and that probably dredged up scary memories.

What this adds up to is that old scary spooky feeling again.  I’m getting the shakes, and yet I can’t stop looking this stuff up and re-experiencing it.  In particular, the self-destruct part of the Alien keeps replaying in my head.  The last crewmember’s endgame and final confrontation with the monster, all while experiencing nearly unbearable panic and fear.

I wonder if my mirage is up to his old tricks again.  Come to think of it, my garden troubles might be his doing.  He does know weeds and soil like the back of his hand, and it would be a laugh-riot if my folks got a bumper crop while K and I got a crummy harvest.  I just discovered the parental units have planted corn and it is already almost ready.  The stalks were hidden by their tomato plants.  Argh!  The garden beat-down knows no depths.

In a certain sense, the movie Alien is about discovery, both of something new and different (even if it’s a horrific one in terms of what happens to the crew), and Ellen Ripley’s inner resources.  It’s a message, one that I observe and reflect upon.  I don’t get the sense that I’m supposed to do anything more than that.

I have a dream.  In it, I encounter the creature from the movie.  It jumps on me like a cricket, and we wrestle in a dark place for a long while.  In Alien, the creature is more than a match for any human because it has inhuman strength and snap-reflexes in addition to claws and slime-lubricated teeth.  But in the dream, we’re equally matched somehow.

The alien snaps it piston-like teeth into my cheek, and instead of eviscerating my face, I resist and slide out of its grasp.  Some sort of understanding passes between us, and all of a sudden I’m “one of its kind”.  We lay on our stomachs together, cheek-to-cheek, and listen to the darkness.