After narrowly escaping an abduction Wednesday night when I almost ran out of gas in the desert, I awoke excited at the prospect to learn more about these space men. That felt like a run on sentence, oh boy, what shall I do? Meh, it's fine. Good start! Ever since I was a kid I was both fascinated and horrified of aliens. I loved the idea of aliens and the iconography of them but the reality of their existence was far too frightening. I saw "Fire in the Sky" at a young age and that scared me. For those of you who have not had the unsettling experience of watching this film while 11 years old, i'll fill ya in. It's the recounting of a man being abducted by aliens and the PTSD that ensues. I think that's the plot, It's been a very long time.
Aliens were everywhere when I was a kid, Sarad (one of my oldest and best friends) and I made it a habit to buy anything with an alien on it. We had matching glow in the dark shirts, these purple candles in the shape of extra terrestrials, necklaces, posters, everything. On the other side of that coin, I had a skylight in my room (swanky right, hello ladies) growing up and an overactive imagination, I was always seeing things.
Time to check out the Roswell UFO museum and research center! I showered, packed, ate a pulled pork sandwich from Franklin's, got dressed and headed there. Admission was only $5, which was far too low, I would have paid triple that.
Inside were newspaper clippings, models of crashes, cover up theories, letters of people talking about sightings, photos of UFOs, artist's renditions of aliens, posters of the show Roswell (remember that show from the late 90's-early 2000's? oh you don't? well the UFO museum does). They also had this large Mayan tablet (a recreation of one) that supposbly depcited aliens and whatnot. In addition to all this fun stuff they had a room showing a movie about the Roswell incident. After some research I found out this is a TV movie from 1994 starring Dwight Yoakam as Mac Brazel, the man who allegedly discovered the UFO crash. The movie was AWFUL and while I was sitting in the back row of this tiny viewing room I kept muttering to myself "is that fucking Dwight Yoakam?" I leaned over to the older couple next to me and inquired "hey, is that Dwight Yoakam?" their puzzled look didn't provide me much help.
During this silly movie I was watching in the UFO museum, my friend Tanya informed me about the new "Captain America Civil War" trailer. I've been off the grid a bit during this road trip and haven't been frequenting the geeky movie websites I usually inhabit for large amounts of my day. I shot out of the screening room, pulled up youtube and proceeded to watch the trailer 3 times. This is the best trailer for the film by far and at the end...SPIDERMAN! Picture me in the Roswell UFO museum while watching the "Captain America Civil War" trailer at full volume, a very Matt McAskill moment.
After I had my alien fill for the day and snapped some pics with me and Alf out front, I hit the road. Car gassed up, cooler full of redbull, water and blue Powerade, I headed to the Grand Canyon. Another 9 hour day driving through desert, at least it was sunny and the scenery was beautiful. I saw some stunning rock formations, large freight trains, strange dead animals on the side of the road, the sun setting over the horizon, crippling darkness on another spooky road. I also listened to David Spade's memoir "Almost Interesting" I really dug it actually. Most of the books I consume are the memoirs or autobiographies of comedians (go figure). I love hearing about their lives but it seems all of them spend at least half a chapter complaining how hard it is to write. I mean, I agree but saying it doesn't make for interesting prose. Spade's book was good though, worth a read, minus the last chapter which was a bit misogynistic but as a whole it was good, helped distract me from the drive.
On this trip I've learned alot about myself, as cliche and asshole-ish that may sound. If you're curious who you are as a person, drive alone 9 hours a day seven days in a row, you'll figure it out. I always thought people who said they needed to "find themselves" were hippy jackasses, but maybe I was wrong. The trip isn't over yet but I'm getting to the home stretch. What I've realized is this, I'm not the loner I once thought I was and I'm not as brave as I once saw myself as. Let's tackle the loner thing first. I'm usually single because I really enjoy my "me" time and I tend to do many things alone. I go to movies alone, I travel alone, I eat my meals alone and I always thought I wanted to experience those things by myself. What I'm realizing is, I do those things alone because of fear. Fear that someone doesn't want to see me vulnerable, fear of rejection, fear that someone won't like the real me, scars and all. That brings us to the lack of bravery. I've been through a lot in my life, faced things that would make most people crumble and I stood tall (well, 5'8", but I can reach the top of the fridge no problem). In the face of all those challenges I puffed out my chest and walked forward. What I've come to realize is this, that wasn't all my strength. It was the amalgamation of all the strength of my loved ones, my friends and family. Sure, I am a brave man, I'll give myself that but I need my power sources. I'm like Batman (that's right motherfuckers. Me, the Dark knight), Batman alone is very strong, but he needs Robin, Alfred, the Batmobile (spell check is trying to tell me I'm spelling Batmobile wrong and it's about to get handled, watch it spell check), his suit, his utility belt, commissioner Gordon. Sure Batman dressed as Bruce Wayne could beat some bad guys to mush but even he has his limits. On this trip I've realized my limits and had to push past them. Hey Matt, this is supposed to be a funny blog, where are the jokes? Hey! I made that one about being able to reach the top of the refrigerator, ok another one? Remember when I drank out of that gross boot in New Orleans? Ok good, back to the balance of humor and meaningful thought (me).
Let's get back to the trip, Last night around 8:30 I made it to the hotel, checked in, got some gross fast food, put some beers on ice then watched TV to relax. After my nutritious meal from McDonald's I headed to the indoor pool. I was lucky because it was about a half hour to closing time and it was empty. I got to enjoy a much needed hot tub soak all alone for about 3 minutes then a portly family arrived to join me. I don't mean to sound condesending when I refer to them as portly, it's just the only defining characeristinc on the surface I could muster, I mean they were also white? They were nice folks though. I enjoyed the pool and hot tub for about a half hour, made my way to my room and crashed for the night.
It's now bright and early, I'm only a few miles from the rim of the grandest of Canyons. I'm going to spend part of the day there then make my way to a town that is like a second home to me, Las motherfucking Vegas (they changed the name recently). I'll be meeting up with two of my favorite people on this fine Earth, My brother Kyle and Mr. Benjamin Grander Smith esquire. That's it for today folks, thanks for reading!
Keep Smiling (Even when you miss your Alfred)