It came from David Hammond (again)

It came from David Hammond (again)

David Hammond’s story “Suzy’s Friend” was published in Metaphorosis on Friday, 18 May 2018.

Metaphorosis May 2018
May 2018

My family and I were staying in a small cabin in Shenandoah National Park. After dinner, despite having hiked most of the afternoon, and despite the fog, I decided I would go on my usual after-dinner walk and listen to my usual podcasts, damn it. I began walking south along the Appalachian Trail and listening to This American Life.

In this particular episode of This American Life, someone was talking about how Fermi’s Paradox — the idea that if the universe abounds with intelligent life, we should have heard from it by now — made him sad. I.e. it made him sad to think that we are alone in the universe. I listened to this as the fog grew denser along the trail, and I felt annoyed. What about all of the life on Earth that we barely understood? What about the 95% of the ocean that remained completely unexplored? I knew it was silly feeling annoyed at someone feeling sad, as I trusted vaguely in the fact that the Appalachian Trail was very well-marked and there was little chance of me getting off the path despite the fog. But really, to say that the lack of extraterrestrial intelligence millions of light-years away (if indeed there were none) meant that we were “alone,” despite the truly glorious variety of strange and interesting creatures here on Earth, bothered me. Vine-covered tree trunks moved in and out of the mist, sunset giving everything a yellowish hue, and I felt the thrill of the realization that I had, perhaps, by this time, gone as far away from our little cabin as I could safely go that evening. I turned around, and as I reeled in the trail I thought about whether and how I could turn my unreasonable annoyance into a story. Something funny, preferably.

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