This morning – very early – I was in my home, surrounded by receipts, spreadsheets and old coffee as I tried to get our taxes done before the deadline. This afternoon I was in the dentist chair getting a “deep cleaning” (which is medieval slang for “jamming a sharp instrument into your gums until they bleed”).
That must be what it is like to be abducted by aliens.
One minute you are living your life, and the next you are in a laboratory being probed by space creatures. When you return home to tell your family what it was like, they think you are crazy. Soon enough they lose interest and you are left with nothing but fading memories of experiments being conducted on you and your private parts.
My wife says that the same thing must happen to fish. One minute they are swimming along and spot a worm floating by, and the next they are being pulled OUT OF THE WATER with a hook in their cheeks. Giant air breathing monsters poke them, take their pictures, then toss them back in the water. Imagine the conversations they have when they get home.
This weekend, we began to hear noises from our fireplace. As we stood there and right before our eyes, a Wood Duck suddenly dropped into the hearth. He had slipped all the way down the chimney and ended up in our house, being stuck inside the fireplace for two or three days until we opened the flue.
The look on his face told the whole story – he had no idea where he was or how he got there. Dazed, confused and covered with soot, he walked slowly, very…slowly…toward the open door, until he could fly away. No doubt he had a few “abducted by aliens” stories to tell his buddies too.
So now I am back home doing taxes again. The paperwork has not disappeared, nor have the receipts. The coffee is cold and the deadline is nearer than ever. I thought about the duck. I thought about fish. I thought about alien abductions. How do we know what the truth is?
Truth is relative. Perception is reality.
As I sit here and ponder what it all means, an inescapable thought begins to materialize in my brain. It bounces around inside and eventually crystallizes into the elusive truth I have been seeking. Given the choice of doing taxes or getting sharp medical implements shoved into sensitive parts of my gums, I would choose the latter.
At least dentists have Novocaine.