Before Liftoff

fireworks     The tween twins turned into teen twins at the slash of midnight. The climax was accompanied by disturbing, atonal squeals. As a concerned bystander, I won’t deny that I had been forewarned. Behind me, the soundtrack from a horror movie resounded with full frontal monotony. Which substance was that spewing from what impressionable hole? My worst guess was something irresistibly tactile and salty.

Later, I was asleep, but rolled over like a stupid pet trick. By morning, performance anxiety left me with a clammy sheen. Details became fuzzy thereafter, as they will. What if the monotony turned into a lobotomy while I was unaware? By my book, though, I passed the test, any test. Unless those squeals after midnight came from seals fleeing sharks on Monterey Bay.

Soon thereafter, the yin twin said, “I’m going to spend some quality time shopping with Mom today.”

I said, “You’re maturing right in front of my dilated pupils.”

The yang twin was sucking insouciantly on a soft and gooey substance still enveloped in cellophane that was beginning to yellow. With a purple grin, he exclaimed, “I’m going out, too.”

I knew from numerous prior encounters that before liftoff comes breathing, deep if you can reach it. I paused to refresh before saying, “Where to?”

“I’ll know more once I’m out there.”


Though I was reluctant to cause undue alarm to a developmental system that remained placidly immersed in goo, the marauding scorpion who had been wrenched from his comfy home in a banana tree in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta Mountains of Colombia by rampaging human interlopers, and was currently wreaking revenge in the area of the Santa Cruz Mountains that shelters the San Andreas Fault, was taking a ghoulish toll in the hood.  It was widely repeated that a large number of undeserving human stumps had been left wantonly bloodied. No scorpion, after all, ever shied away from a good scrap in the dirt, any dirt. Who else but rampaging scorpions would be still actively maintaining a one sided feud with highly adaptable beavers for over a million years? Primitive human interlopers figured prominently in the origin of that dispute, too.  We can’t seem to turn around without stepping in shallow poop. If not for copying beavers we’d likely all be living in yurts. The only beavers I know of, however, just laugh about it now.

I said “Keep your eyes open for scorpions.”


He said, “That’s what you always say.”

I said, “There must be a reason why.”

He said, “As if.”

I did not mention the disturbing screams that I had been hearing, often at dry dusk before a bad moon rising, from the vast artificial lawn of the techno-yuppie dweeb who lives next door to me when not commuting to Silicon Valley in order to achieve worldwide domination over massive mineral extraction. The techno-yuppie dweeb had been stung any odd number of times in the same or similar posterior position by the marauding scorpion, each time while riding high atop his powerful mower with the spongy seat that supported his degenerative crotch rot. He refused, though, to be cowed by a bug. I learned to distinguish his hackneyed sobbing from the screams emitted by his porcelain wife on Wednesdays while fucking the ever reliable brown delivery man from UPS.

I said to the yang twin, sincerely, “I sincerely hope you’re right.”

Because if he’s not right, where does that leave me? Do I stay stuck in the dirt with the rest of the crawling bugs who can’t rise above? If he refuses to evolve when will any piece of me get to fly? I hope that he learns he is right when he claims he will know more once out there. If he doesn’t reach higher levels of consciousness who will? Where will there be to end up? Mars?


I said,”You know Elon Musk is all up for rocketing to Mars. What do you think about colonizing Mars?”

He said, “Who’s Elon Musk?”


About marclevytoo

writer of fiction
This entry was posted in animals, environment, evolution, family, fiction, humor, parenting, Uncategorized, writing and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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