Sorry I’ve been so hard to track down lately—I’ve been crazy busy! We’re in the middle of three new business pitches at work right now. And when I’m not at work, I run around with the kids, from soccer practice to ballet lessons to piano recitals. And, of course, when I’m not with the kids, I’m at the beck and call of the parasitic life form that has taken hold of my body. It’s really been non-stop!

You wouldn’t believe the number of emails I get in a day. In just the time we’ve been talking, I’ve already received 300 new emails. My boss, vendors, clients, direct reports, account managers, and brand managers clamor for my digital attention all day long. I also get thousands of emails every day from the mother species. Email seems to be the easiest way for her to communicate with the nightmarish entity growing inside of me.

I know it sounds selfish, but sometimes I wish I could have just a few moments alone with my thoughts, with no kids, no deadlines, and no parasitic tentacles worming their way through my brain. I don’t even know what I’d do. Maybe get some reading done, maybe exercise, or maybe just tool around in my old shed, where I could relax and build a birdhouse or something instead of this strange metal machine covered in lasers and knives I’m being forced to build. What a relief it would be to break free from the shackles of the stressful modern world, just for a moment. It would also be great to break free from the heavy metal shackles that prevent me from escaping the shed.

Sometimes I wonder if it’s all worth it. What am I even doing this for? Some behemoth holding company? Some even more behemoth alien being? To be honest, there are times when I feel like I’m a slave to The Man, just another meaningless cog in the wheel of big business. In a much less metaphorical way, I also feel like a slave to the parasite that has taken over my body and free will.

It’s an exhausting life that never stops, even after sundown. In fact, night is often the only time I can focus and get any real work done. So I end up burning the midnight oil, reformatting PowerPoint presentations, planning sales meetings, catching up on email, and, of course, every night before I can go to sleep, I’m compelled by some unknown presence to spend at least six hours in the corner, slowly rocking back and forth while making Morse-code ticking noises into the cell phone-like receiver that’s growing out of my wrist. Most nights, it’s usually nearing dawn before I’m finally able to settle into my mucous-lined cocoon for some much-needed shut-eye.

Also, lately, I’ve found myself spending a great deal of my “free time” attached to a breast pump, milking. I keep all the milk stored in our basement fridge in bottles clearly labeled “do not drink” (Trust me, you don’t want to, it tastes like mucous.) I’m not sure what it’s for exactly, but I’m guessing it’s somehow related to the nodules the parasite forced me to implant in my husband a few weeks ago. I’ll admit that even though it adds to my already busy schedule, this isn’t the worst part of my day. I know my husband and I are nothing more than reproductive shells to the parasite, and that it will eat both of us once the nodules have matured, but I just can’t help but feel comforted by the maternal chemicals the parasite is releasing into my body. In fact, the last time it used my hand to touch Brad’s lower abdomen, we felt the nodules start to throb. It was kind of cute.

Despite that, I do sometimes wish I could just leave it all behind, take a break and just breathe, through my own lungs, instead of these weird mucous-covered gills I seem to have now. But from what I’ve been able to glean from the mother species’ plan for the human race, and from the looks of the murder machine I’ve been building in the shed, it seems like things are just going to get busier and busier around here!

But you’re right, I guess when it comes down to it, I can’t complain. I’m really busy, but being too busy is always better than the alternative, right?