When you wake up worried that your house is going to blow up, you’re probably not going to have a great day. Let me provide a little bit of backstory before I set the scene. My husband and I are lucky enough to live in a beautiful, older neighborhood. While older homes may have a lot of “charm” they also have things like ancient, decomposing pipelines that can cause natural gas leaks and blow up your house. And I’m not just being dramatic. About two months ago, a house two streets over blew up from a suspected natural gas leak. The house is now a pile of wood and mangled pipes, and unfortunately the woman who lived there passed away in the explosion.
This was especially frightening for me. Things that can kill you while you sleep, like carbon monoxide, fires, natural gas explosions, undetected heart murmurs, terrify me. I’m that spaz that quadruple checks things like lights, burners, and even outlets before I go to sleep. I even do it if I’m spending the night at someone else’s house. Do I trust Susan to turn off the stove after we had been drinking all night? Hell no! So imagine my horror when we smelled gas in our basement Sunday morning. With no bra and un-brushed teeth I ran around the house packing up valuables: my laptop, a hard copy of my current manuscript, contact lenses, underwear, my expired passport for some reason, and threw three golden retrievers and one beagle into my car (I’m dog sitting my parents’ dogs). I drove around waiting to hear from my husband, nauseous, wondering if I would come back to a house that transformed into a smoldering pile of sticks. Meanwhile the dogs almost suffocated me and fogged up the windows with their rotten, fishy-smelling breath. Thankfully, the gas company determined there weren’t any major leaks in any of our pipelines, but instead it was our malfunctioning furnace that caused the gas smell. The only damage was a nasty bump on my head while trying to get the dogs in the car, and a scratch on my car when I was trying to get all of the dogs out of the car.
**Does this post sound like I’m whining? I know it does. Sorry about that. Stick with me here; I promise I’m going to get to a point soon**
For a person who has been fearing a natural gas leak for the past two months, I was a little shaken by the end of the day. By that night, when our furnace was working, my husband and I sat on the couch hoping to take the edge off with a few adult beverages. Unfortunately for me, my liquid anti-anxiety antidote wasn’t working. Even after sipping on a bourbon I still felt jittery adrenaline pinging through my veins. I was completely freaked out…until I started watching the movie The Cloverfield Paradox on Netflix.
There’s nothing like a mediocre, but creepy, quasi-prequel (?), sci-fi movie to give you some perspective in your life. The movie (which in my opinion is a modern version of Event Horizon) is about a group of scientists who go on a space mission to find more resources for Earth. Unfortunately for them, they are propelled into an alternate dimension and begin to have a pretty fucked up day. As they enter into another dimension they also unleash the monster/aliens we see in the first Cloverfield movie. Thanks guys. After the movie’s one light-hearted moment involving the crew listening to some old school hip-hop and playing foosball, things go downhill fairly quickly for everyone. A Russian dude (you gotta have a Russian in a space movie, right?) starts having a major issue with his eye and eventually has worms bust out of him. An Irish guy (who btw, is the guy who plays the main love interest in Bridesmaids) gets his arm gobbled up and spit out by a wall (yes a wall). Then an English woman (who looks like a younger, more attractive version of Tilda Swinton) pops up out of no where, trapped in a wall with a bunch of wires weaving in and out of her body. By the end, all of the characters meet some unfortunate demise. To the five people who read this blog, sorry for the spoiler. You can guess by the first fifteen minutes what’s going to happen.
It’s one of those movies where you don’t feel warm and fuzzy after you’ve watched it, unless you had a messed up day like I did. Even though I didn’t particularly like the movie, it got my mind off of things that bothered me earlier in the day. Yes I may have had a shitty day, but at least I wasn’t propelled into an alternate dimension where logic doesn’t apply and everyone dies. The fact that it gave my husband and I a chuckle after a stressful day was priceless. Say what you will about stories that only exist for escapism, but I think they play an important role in our lives. Even the most ridiculous of stories can provide a laugh, a sense of presence, and may help lower a pulse that’s been on overdrive for several hours. So for that, I thank you Cloverfield Paradox. Even though your plot was a little silly, I was engaged the entire time, and that’s all I needed after a shitty day.
See, I came to some kind of point, even though if it was after 800ish words.