Saturday, January 21, 2012

Another Year, Another day

So it's the new year, January 21, 2012? Where did the time go? How will my posting look for the coming year? Well, if my track record is indication, then not good. But here is to hoping maybe I'll post more than twice this year. Maybe I'll have something to post about (something worth reading, even). 

At any rate, I'd appreciate (for those who do read my blog) to leave a comment once you've read my entry, especially if you find it interesting. I like to know at least one person is looking so I know I'm not wasting my time typing away! ;) 

I thought I'd post and excerpt from my "story" that I'm writing. It's an idea my dad gave to me a long, long time ago (in a galaxy far away? ... nah, it was right here in the good old Milky Way!!).  I'd worked on it some before, developing characters, but have recently taken it up again with more ideas and so much more to work with/through/on than the first go-round. 

Without further delay, here it is. Enjoy! =)

I spent my entire life doubting what scientist had been hoping to discover for years. Aliens. They were fictional imaginings of the overactive imagination of a middle-aged man who still lived in his mother’s basement and attended science fiction conventions. Or so I thought.
            The fact was, people had been hoping they weren’t alone in the universe for centuries. These people spent their childhoods watching movies about alien invaders who used highly advanced weaponry and computers to incinerate the lesser beings in the universe in order to claim their resources for their own planet. Movies set in the future where humans had become technologically advanced enough to set out into the universe in their little space ships, exploring new galaxies and befriending alien races. So many people dreamed of reaching the stars that men dedicated their careers to the study and exploration of space. Those professionals hoped to find other life.
            I still remained doubtful. I always would, until one day, which was very unlikely, they found an alien, took a picture of it, and plastered it all over television. Even then I would be skeptical. After all, there are very talented people who are extremely adept at manipulating pictures in Photoshop.
I disliked the idea of aliens anyway. Extraterrestrials with highly advanced technologies that could incinerate you with the push of a button? Not my idea of a good time. Besides that, they lived in space. If you were going to meet one they either had to come to earth, hopefully not with the intention to blow it up, or you had to go into space and look for them, hoping they didn’t blow you up when you got there. Neither appealed to me, especially the latter. 
            Space. I didn’t get it. I was a very down-to-earth kind of guy—literally. I was down on earth, I was a guy, and that’s how I liked it. That’s where I was born. God put me there for a reason. Why should I argue with that? Why would I want to change that? God knew what he was doing. I was put on earth. I was staying on earth.
            No, I wasn’t going to space. Not willingly. If I were told aliens were about to blow up the whole planet, I would hug my friends and family goodbye and say, “See you on the other side!” That’s how much I loved earth. Solid ground. Grass. Trees. Blue skies. Oxygen. What’s not to love? Space had none of that to offer.
            My family, on the other hand, had made their lives about space. My father worked for NASA. My younger brother followed in our father’s footsteps. Even my kid sister wanted to go to space. She was an astronaut.
            I was a nurse. Space didn’t have those either.
            It seemed like everyone in my family was meeting people’s expectations—except for me of course. But what was so wrong with being a male nurse? When I’d decided to go to medical school and study to become a nurse my parents had been proud.
            “Our son is going to be a nurse. He’s going to help save lives,” they said. But others weren’t so enthusiastic.
            “You know, used to be, only women could be nurses,” my grandfather had said.
            “Your little sister is an astronaut. Your brother is a physicist. They’re working on a big project in space. You clean bedpans. That’s an accomplishment,” my Gran added.
            “Gran, it’s about more than that. I help save lives,” I told her.
            “Help being the key word,” was her reply. “Doctors do the actual saving. You couldn’t have been one of those at least?”
            I didn’t let that dissuade me though. My Gran had been a persnickety woman anyway. She had never let me live down the fact that my two younger siblings were seemingly more accomplished than me in every way. My little brother was engaged to a very pretty, successful career woman. My sister, the baby of the family, got married at twenty-one. She was three years younger. Gran nagged me about marriage. In fact, every Christmas card she sent me had a PS that read, “Still waiting on that wedding invitation. Is it going to get here before I die?”
            Gran died a year ago. Her epitaph reads:
Elizabeth Price 
March 2, 2041-August 9, 2124
Loving wife, mother, and grandmother
P.S. I’m still waiting on that wedding invitation.
I kid you not. That’s what it says. It was in her last will and testament to be written just like that. The look on the man’s face at the funeral home when we told him what to put on her headstone was priceless. But I digress.
            A sore disappointment to my grandparents, I became a nurse anyway. Why? People needed nurses. Hospitals, doctors, sick people needed them. Space didn’t. Space was a place that nurses didn’t belong. That’s the only thing I liked about space. And nurses. Gran was right. There are a lot of bedpans involved.
            So in a family that thought they belonged in space, I was a nurse that didn’t. That was fine though. I liked it that way. Preferred it even. I would let them go to space; discover alien races, blow stuff up, get blown up. Well, I never hoped they would get blown up, but it was always a heavily weighing concern in the back of my mind. I didn’t care if they received more praise for doing it. I was a nurse. I helped save lives. And I’d be a liar if I didn’t say I was good at it, too.
            I liked my job. I loved my family. I’d had a few relationships gone wrong. I was content at being single. I was happy.
            Until it all got uprooted. 

Thanks for reading!!
~Steph <3