First, thank you to our distinguished Veterans (including our very own Rachael Habash and her husband, Justin).
Thank you! Thank you for your bravery, your service, and the countless sacrifices you have made to protect our country. You serve as great examples for us to follow. Thank you. We love you all for what you have provided us.
Friends, if you haven’t yet heard about what transpired this past weekend, please read on.
Last Sunday, I squeezed out of the Q train (Atlantic Terminal) and hurriedly fell in among the masses exiting the subway and rising on the steep escalator into Brooklyn.
Emerging into the blinding sun, four blocks off to the left, I see garbage trucks and other massive city vehicles parked in a scattered arrangement.
Just beyond this heavy equipment, it appears thousands of people are fixated and screaming.
As I approach the assemblage, within a block, I feel Beyonce’s ‘Run the World’ pounding into the dense crowd. Peering beyond the bystanders, I make out bobbing heads within the fences, all running left to right.
What in the world is going on?!
Within moments the mob presses me into the security fencing separating us from this horde of invaders taking over New York City.
Up close, I’m now able to bear witness to what is understandably captivating the citizens of Gotham.
By all accounts, we appear to be under attack!
On the other sign of this endless steel barricade restraining me are brightly colored alien intruders that look almost humanoid! I swear if I didn’t know any better…
They’re all running, walking, and jogging in the same direction. Thousands of them.
Towards what, I have no idea, but they are driven.
These alien visitors to our planet, like us, come in various shapes, sizes, and ages.
From this angle, one of them in a pink tank looks exactly like my wife.
I fumble through my rucksack looking for my graphite pencil and Field Journal.
‘…just like Krissy. Did they send clones?!’ I frantically write.
Many are sporting a blue/white sheet with large black numbers pinned to their dorsum.
It appears they have been tagged by the authorities!
The tag lessens my angst and suggests someone must’ve already been in the cage with them?
OMG – they look so human!
My science background kicks in, I quickly dub this species,
animus maratonus (ANN-ee-MUSS merr-ah-TONE-us) – jotting it into the Field Journal.
I’m puzzled, as I notice others adjacent to me observing the stampede are smiling, laughing, waving, and holding neon signs.
These signs make no sense to me:
‘Never Trust a Fart After Mile 18’
‘Worst Parade Ever’
‘May the Course Be With You’
I don’t understand.
How can these spectators be so entirely flippant with all of our collective lives at stake?
Has all this medical training hardened me where I only care about scientific discovery?
Do I even know how to have fun anymore?
Regaining my focus, I stare into the invading army.
These extraterrestrials are uniformly sweaty.
It’s a gross, heavy sweat. (Except for the one that looks like my wife)
Like us, they have ears on the side of their heads. I surmise they must be functional as these beings appear to be engaging, even relishing in the music.
‘Has the city hired DJs to covertly serve as pied pipers leading them into the park? (I continue to scrawl into my journal).
It also appears the invaders like bananas.
Is this a hypokalemic (low potassium) tangent version of homo sapiens? I note.
Many are desperately grabbing for the fruits.
Do they have taste buds like us? I wonder.
How did they arrive on our planet?
I flashback to NPR this morning – no mention of overnight UFO sightings.
And honestly, that thought is absurd as no aircraft would be able to hold 10s of thousands of these space travelers.
Brooklyn must have known these intruders were coming, right?
All signs point to ‘yes’.
Indeed, the trucks blocking the road, but also the fences/orange pylons/yellow caution tape – and police detail everywhere. This had to take hours to arrange in advance.
The invaders keep coming and coming.
If we survive this, I must meet with Mayor Adams.
Just as one may steal a look at the flight attendant during heavy turbulence, I survey the abundant presence of the NYPD.
I’m shocked, yet reassured, by what I see.
Many officers are not even watching these runners.
The police are primarily focused on restraining the masses and a couple are even engaged in lighthearted conversation.
One of New York’s Finest is holding up a sandwich.
“Hey, Marco ya gotta check out dis hero. Eggplant parmigiana from da Bodega on 32nd and Lex. This thing is fire!”
‘Nah, I’m Gucci’, says the other.
They must view these violators as only a subtle threat to the city?
Do they figure they can control them with bananas?
Why are they not arresting them?
Ahhh, probably too many?!
As I start to get my bearings, I notice yellow/black directional arrows everywhere.
Wait a minute!
Maybe…just maybe…New York is trying to wear them out?!
Come to think of it, I did overhear a couple next to me mentioning they were heading to the Queensborough Bridge and then Central Park after they left Brooklyn.
Brilliant! That’s it!! It all makes sense now.
NYC officials are luring them into the park…where exhausted, they’ll seduce them with a big medal, give them a bag of treats, then capture them in mylar wraps!
Head down, I’m frantically scribbling into my notes.
Yes! I bet then they’ll draw their blood and biopsy them. Study them.
Just like moon rocks!
Then, as I think forward to the trap, I’m saddened.
These creatures have not yet shown any malintent.
These animus maratoni seem harmless and non-confrontational.
Some parents are even letting their children stick their hands in the cage. The animi are as a whole smiling and gently slapping their hands as they run by.
Back to the analysis.
As this attack on the Big Apple continued, I was able to deduce that the animi need to keep moving to be happy.
At one point, the police had to make them pause for a car to get through.
This was the only time I witnessed the animi get upset,
‘This maneuver seems to disturb them, I quickly write. ‘Like lemmings to a cliff (myth), they are engineered not to stop.’
Despite appearing so human-like and wearing these anthropoid garments, there was another easy observation.
The animi were not choosing to separate into any religious, political, geographical, age, or racial divisions within themselves.
Despite their many unique, individual traits, they were walking, jogging, and running as one.
Talking and laughing with each other.
Encouraging each other.
Supporting each other.
Even carrying, and caring for, the rare stranger injured among them.
Now on this Veteran’s Day, as I reflect on that fateful Sunday, despite the sudden shock of the large-scale invasion, it was quite wonderful to witness it in person. Maybe, just maybe, we can all learn just a little something from these peaceful visitors to our world.
Disclaimer: Any analogies the reader may draw from this madness are purely coincidental.