Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Microstory 1188: Alexi Lanka

Few people could understand what someone like Alexi Lanka went through in terms of anger. He wasn’t mad about his upbringing, or his family. He wasn’t mad at the world for treating him poorly, or for lost opportunities. It was just all too easy for something most would call minor to irritate him. His brain would then associate that irritation with similar experiences in his past, and remind him of how he felt in those moments. The anger would compound itself until he was mostly a boy made of rage. He was never violent or threatening, and even as a child, he made a deliberate effort to shield others from his wrath, but they still saw, and they still felt it. He needed a way to convert his anger into something positive, so his father got him into boxing. Well, boxing made things ten times worse for Alexi. Every punch he threw went straight into his memory archives, where he could dwell on his imperfections until he fell asleep from exhaustion. He was never good enough for his own standards. Furthermore, his coach taught him to be contemptible to his opponent, and that was not the right way for him to live. His mother wasn’t exactly a saint, but she did not appreciate the violence, so when she returned home from a months-long business trip where she was opening a new branch, she pulled him out, and gave him something better to do. She turned him into a runner, so he could still get out his aggression, but do so while maintaining a fairly large personal bubble. His failures continued to eat away at him, but it was different than before, because they drove him to do better next time, rather than harp on a past he could never change. He was never the best, but he never gave up. Of course, his anger issues weren’t completely fixed by this either. He still had to work through his problems in healthy ways, utilizing advice from his therapist, and trying new medications when the old ones proved ineffective. Fortunately, running wasn’t something he would try forever. When a terrible accident forced him out of the game indefinitely, he finally found his true calling.

Alexi’s physical therapist liked to garden in her backyard. She invited him over to help, hoping it would take his mind off the pain. Part of it was just that she had enough work for two people, so there was never some master plan to change his life. He found himself in love with the hobby, and it calmed him down even better than his girlfriend, Agent Nanny Cam. Plants always did exactly what they were meant to. They did not argue with him, or stub his toe, or illustrate his inadequacy. They grew when they had the nutrients they needed, and they flowered accordingly. He also felt like an idiot when he was venting his frustrations at them, so it just didn’t make sense to vent anymore. He turned this hobby into a career. He worked at a number of places, all involving plants and wildlife. He was never fired, and never really wanted to quit any one place. He would just get the urge to start something new, but would often return to an old job when that was what felt right. He married Agent Nanny Cam, and together they had a daughter named Aldona. He never stopped creating life. As technology marched on, and people started wanting to live in vertical megastructures, the towns of old needed to be torn down, and replaced with wilderness, as it was always meant to be. Alexi wasn’t the primary force in this effort, but he did dedicate his life to it, and was partially responsible for the world’s salvation from the negative impact of climate breakdown. Once that was finished, he moved on to his greatest challenge yet: terraforming Mars.

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