A few years back, not that long ago, I poured out about 10 chapters of a story that remains unfinished, which I have dubbed “The Girl, The Alien, and Me” on my list of unfinished projects that I still hope to finish someday.
The story stalled after the death of a character named Buzz, a jack of all trades and UFO conspiracy theorist who worked with the guy who is Me in the title. I let the project peter out instead of, as I now understand storytelling, going back to the point where Buzz dies, erasing his death, and moving forward from there.
Buzz keeps coming back in my journal, urging me to do just that. Here is what flowed from my fingers back in February. (Yes, February, it takes a very long time for me to process my thoughts.)
“When they say, ‘Nothing to see here,’ look anyway,” Buzz said. “In fact, stop what you’re doing and look harder. There’s something to see that they’d rather you didn’t. They may as well be saying, ‘Something to see here, get away before you see it and we have to kill you.’”
“That’s a little paranoid, don’t you think?” I said.
Buzz thought about it for a second. “Maybe they won’t kill you, but they’ll sure go out of their way to let the world know you didn’t see what you know you saw.”
Buzz and I were tinkers. We made and fixed metal parts and machines. It’s what we did. Not much call for it these days, but more than you’d think, especially out here in the sticks where people aren’t as eager to just throw broken stuff away and buy a new one that probably isn’t built as well as the old one. Buzz was a genius — a paranoid genius, but a genius none the less — and he could make or fix anything.
“Are you ready to tell my story now or what, Bluhm?” Buzz said suddenly, looking up from the page. “What’s keeping you from sitting down and weaving the whole quilt, instead of making little squares and telling yourself you’ll piece it all together ‘someday’? Didn’t you write something profound about ‘someday’ once upon a time? You wrote that someday doesn’t exist, there’s only today, and you can either do something today or not.”
And, as I shut the journal, I heard him exclaim, “So! You’re choosing ‘not’ again, are ye? You really ought to break that habit.”