Today’s post, like most of my recent posts, has hardly anything to do with anything that this blog is meant to have to do with. *sighs*
Tell you what, I’ll post another segment of that plane ride tomorrow or the next day.
I think that what’s stopped me from posting about soak monkeys is a huge and most terrifying beast. This beast is, like most other human weaknesses, really obnoxious. It may be multiple beasts, actually. Infectious beasts. The first of which is the most feared (and sometimes revered) Procrastination. I don’t want to post a long story full of half-improvised dialogues and pointless jokes. I’d much rather write, or draw, or play with my monkeys without worrying about actually posting it or not. Copying and pasting a little piece of something or taking a quick picture of a doodle is far easier than uploading a load of pictures, attempting to find witty dialogue in a lake of inspiration and then drag it out with a meta-physical fishing line, write some dialogue, and try to get people to turn their heads towards what I’ve created.
I like sharing my art to the world, and I like posting little bits and pieces of The Vision Stones. Maybe because it just makes me happy. Maybe because I am possessed by another beast: The Need to Impress.
And I don’t just mean make people think that I’m a good person. I don’t mean that I want to make people think that I am worthy of attention. Actually, I do. But another spirit that resides inside me wants to press my handprint into the world itself. I want to show people in the future that I was here once, that there were other people here, and that they weren’t the only ones.
I want people to say, “She really did something. She really changed the world.”
I don’t care how I changed it. Everyone changes the world, everyone leaves a footprint. I want mine to be visible. I want to do something. Something big.
Speaking of footprints, beasts, and big things, I want to dedicate this post to one of my obsessions: Cryptozoology.
This obsession predates my obsessions with mismatched socks, yokai, monkeys, weird combinations of clothing that could be interpreted as ‘suits’, Zilpha Keatley Snyder’s books, and the sad and/or strange life stories of circus freaks(some of my favorites are Ralph Wadlow and Schlitzie Surtees).
It does not, however, predate my obsessions with drawing, storytelling, creating in general, dancing, and- guess?- Sylvanians.
I can trace this strange feeling towards the unknown back to when I was much smaller than I am now. I would think about aliens.
I would picture aliens, sometimes complete with weird spaceships, flying towards earth. Beings that I had never even imagined.
A weird feeling would creep through me, and I could feel myself submerged in fear. But it was enjoyable. Exciting fear. The sort of fear that makes you cringe when you hear a thump in a dark room. I love it.
Sometimes I hate it. I have encountered ghosts. Only recently have I actually seen them, up to about two, three, maybe four years ago- it was only the feeling and sometimes physical contact. Something has, twice, walked across my back at night when I was definitively not asleep.
I see whispy figures float by. I can feel them- the fear of the unknown is present, but also weird, prickly sensations, and just- just a feeling of some unknown, supernatural power.
I used to love finding an article in a magazine about ghosts. I still do. Sometimes I can smell them, or feel a sort of breath on my neck. A freezing cold hand clutching my head, when no hand is there.
I’d heard stories of cryptids (why does no one call them cryptozoons?) before, but didn’t know the generalized term for them. However, ‘Things That May Or May Not Exist’ always fascinated me. The ones I heard the most about, understandably, were Bigfoot (aka Sasquatch), the Chupacabra (goat-sucker), the Yeti, and a few sea and lake serpents.
I liked hearing about the yeti the most, and then maybe Bigfoot, especially since Sasquatch territory is the closest real big cryptid area to my current (and always, I was born in the house that I’m sitting in right now) residence. It was so- so cool to know that out there, near to me, there might be a whole new sort of hominid. Someone like me, but not.
I’d heard about that guy that got kidnapped by Bigfoot. I’d seen the film that those two guys filmed in Bluff Creek, and heard the evidence against it.
The yeti also fascinated me, although I’m not sure why. Maybe just the idea of another ape, again. I like being an ape. I like learning about other apes. It’s fun.
Once I read an article that claimed that yeti were polar bears. I almost ripped the magazine in half. It said that some people had found alleged ‘yeti hairs’ and done a DNA test. Polar bears. The article was coupled with a picture of a bellowing, blue-and-white, ape-like, weird, terribly drawn, ‘yeti’. Yeti don’t live in the snow. They migrate across it. THEY ARE NOT WHITE! *insert swear word here* That was a stupid article. There were similar articles debunking other cryptid myths. Those articles seemed as patchy as the fur of the bondegezou’s fur. Ugh.
Another magazine really sparked my interest in cryptids, in another juvenile science magazine. This one talked about four different cryptids, but I can remember Bigfoot, Chupacabra, Mothman, and Nessie.
The chubacabra. Oh man. This one really gave me that ‘alien fear’ feeling. It was just so, weird. So creepy. It made me feel the way Mothman and the Jersey Devil make me feel. It’s amazing!
The thing is, I don’t have particular interest in actually looking for a chupacabra. Sure, I’d flip out if I actually saw one, but it doesn’t strike me as quite as interesting as Bigfoot, the yeti, or Mothman.
So, now I’d read about the Mothman Prophecy, but not in it’s entirety. I hadn’t learned about shriekers or ‘black man-dragons’ quite yet.
Then started the ‘Computer Era’. Another beast had come to creep into my head at night and grow, gradually, to implant the idea that computers were the new science magazines.
I found a cryptid wiki on one of my many web-searches for Bigfoot and others. I skimmed through the articles, taking in more details about the Skunk Ape of Florida, the Wendigo (which I closed quickly after reading), and others.
The obsession had sparked into a fire. My family joked that I was going to be a cryptozoologist when I grew up. I liked the idea. It sounded like it combined multiple things that I enjoy, such as the unknown, the presence of multiple, exciting worlds, art, writing, journalism, and, of course, cryptids.
Recently, I found two books on cryptozoology: Mutants and Monsters, and Cryptozoology A-Z. I read the first one, but am still working on the latter.
And, more than ever, do I want to get out there and do something. To make my impression. I know an eye-witness of Bigfoot. I’ve read lots of books and websites, and heard lots of oral legends.
Sometimes it’s easy to tell fact from conspiracy.
Sometimes it’s easy to spot a hoax.
Maybe not, but I’ve got the credentials to become a cryptozoologist: None. Cryptozoologists are rarely even recognized as scientists, and when they are, it’s because they studied zoology for background knowledge, or just had an interest in ordinary animals to begin with.
But most of my obsessions are with the extraordinary, the abnormal.
And I’m coming, Bigfoot, I’m coming.