The world depends on music, poetry,
art and the zodiac. If only the earth people would believe that.
Itís hard enough trying to fit them into my schedule, since they
are simply so stupid they never get it right. Leave them a way to
write and think and dream and they spend years trying to figure
it out. What yahoos. Thank you Jonathan Swift. That one had some
idea of how the world worked. I mean how many pyramids does an alien
have to leave for galaxyís sake before they get a grasp.
that planet. I shouldnít say that but I do. Why Zakanko made me
in charge of those gravity bound dwellers is beyond me. But you
like a challenge, Zakanko chimed out for me, letting me see the
words, music and colors all at once, as he included that tiny idiot
planet on my already full repertory of places to inhabit, get started
and then hopefully leave on their own once theyíve got it down pat.
Yuck is all I can say after the myriad of years Iíve spent spot
checking those people. Yuck.
all these years, I hoped once they got themselves to Mars they would
figure it out. Yes it had water once, yes it had life once, yes
it was red. Duh. Does Mars look red through your telescopes it took
you eons to create, Iíd like to ask? Then I guess it must be red.
had visions of itself bigger, better and grander than those Earth
could ever imagine. Yes, itís the legacy of Mars you remember, those
some of you anyway, the ones whose brains havenít been short-circuited
by the time you are two earth years old.
I swear I tried. Yes, what you see in dreams is real. Of course
itís real. What is your definition of reality? I had hoped youíd
begin to see and learn and know as earth time went on. H.G. Wells,
Jules Verne; some of you , yes, there have been successes along
the way. Philip K. Dick. Please, Iíll go into rhapsodies if I get
started on that one. But back to the basics.
all of us, not just me. The Alien Federation League Of Interplanetary
Settlement And New Beginnings made a vow to start you people here
off right. We gave you the tools, we gave you the memories and we
let you go. Then we had to come back ,or at least I did . And come
back and come back and come back. I feel like I live on your planet,
and itís not the place I plan to settle on, trust me. Just now earth
science is finally beginning to discover the sleep process. How
many years have you earth people been around? Just now you understand
how the mind works, how dreams are so important, how the mind replenishes
itself and lets out into the cosmos what it needs to and takes in
what it needs to. You people have no knowledge of brain matter at
all, not at all. And just look back at the ancient stories and myths
you have to draw from. Whatís an alien settlement manager to do,
I ask you. Look what I have to work with, then presume to criticize
should know all this by now. Embedded memories are deep in the earth
peopleís brain, the hippocampus they call it, and when these beings
sleep, as they must, these memories, dreams and reflections (thank
you Carl Jung, another earth creature after my own heart) are pushed
into their neocortexes. When they wake up, viola! What they have
dreamed and envisioned is brought forth to them. What more do they
need, a diagram?
my reason for my ad in The Intergalactic Journal. I need to be clear
on what I am looking for. I cannot lie. I cannot mislead anyone.
My ad reads simply Ďan unrewarding job for an alien please helpĎ.
I think that says it all.
a song yesterday weaving itself back and forth over the farthest
star I could see in my minds eye, and that is pretty far, even for
an alien with bifocals. It danced around and around. When it was
done, a new galaxy had been added. Beautiful. Just beautiful. Maybe
I can be sent there for restarting purposes, before I get too old
to do any good in the universe. I donít want just Mars and Earth
on my resume. That would be too cruel.
I am subsiding
on the branches of the water plant nexus. It is where I chose to
live now. For the time being, anyway. Itís comfortable. Itís also
cool. I can transform myself into a droplet of water and do nothing
but seethe and ebb and flow and be constantly regurgitated through
the tendrils of the water plant nexus. On and on and on. The stems
of the water plant nexus are long and sweet and wide, and I glide
up and down and around and the water bubbles from the roots and
back down again like a living faucet, or a water fall. Earth people
can think of water world in Orlando and theyíve got it.
chime. Come in, I wrote in calligraphy, the lovely Chinese system
of writing that the earth uses from time to time. Earth has had
their accomplishments, when all is said and done. Let the music
play on. Looking at the words dancing around the room I heard what
they were saying to my incoming guest. Where are you, the Edrood
entering said aloud. Being a droplet of water nesting on the top
of the water plant nexusí top tendril, I guess even an Edrood was
unable to scope me out. As soon as I had this thought, the Edrood
promptly morphed into a tiny parasite like creature, small enough
to sit on the top of the water plant nexus with me.
thought, not talking out loud anymore. Fine, weíll use thought messaging
if it makes my Edrood visitor feel happier. Itís the closeness that
counts. Look, I replied. I wrote a picture for him. I colored it
and I gave it life. Its all about Mars isnít it, Edrood wisely answered.
I canít go through that again I replied instantly. My calligraphy
changed into the darkest blacks and maroons, the highest shades
of despair, passion and death you can imagine. They lit up the place,
they scoured the walls, the thunder came crashing down. Edrood nodded.
I see what you mean. Itís like a light show I saw once on the asteroid
I cut him
off. Fight fight fight. Kill kill kill. Bully bully bully. Thatís
all there is down there on Earth. Not all; Edrood intoned a Buddhist
chant to me. Not all not all not all. He imagined a Tibetan Mandela,
the sand patterns taking shape right before my water logged eyespots.
And I have many of them. So it was a wondrous thing to behold.
to tell them, I said, sand wafting into my eyespots. They know Mars
is the planet that rules war and mayhem and anger. They know mythology
and astrology, the true sciences. I gave them that I said, water
mingling with the sand and mixing it into mud. The Chaldeans understood
I continued. Edrood murmured a fresh warm babbling brook. It appeared
over my head and dropped down onto the floor and cascaded over the
walls. Before you knew it we were in a rain forest. Then the water
steamed up and took us with it, and brought us back down into a
garden of wildflowers and dandelions. A little reverie from all
the nastiness Iíd been thinking about since I received my admonishing
letter from the League.
to be a butterfly I said suddenly to Edrood. So do I, he agreed.
We both became blazes of color, flitting here and there over the
rocks and sandpaper flowers that open up only when you say hello
to them, but only if its in a whisper. Itís the garden of reverie
I said, a peaceful place if you can afford it. I saw a picture of
one once in the Retirement For Aliens With Money Guidebook. I saved
a lot of zinopips on my last space saucer sale, but not enough for
that. So here I am, resting comfortably courtesy of my new found
Edrood friend. Who is here for what purpose, I need to ask. As if
I didnít know. Later, let me rest first.
buzzed into my butterfly wing. All they want to do is kill each
other I moaned, watching my whimperings float like gigantic burps
escaping from my fragile butterfly self. Beat up on each other,
put each other down, make fun of each other, thatís their sole reason
for being. My burps became a crescendo in the octave of eight.
became the pages of a book. Songs of Myself by Walt Whitman danced
over him. Join me he whispered into my butterflyís wings as a cacophony
of moans and burps and now sighs escaped from me again.
The letters of ĎOh Captain My Captainí wrote themselves again and
again. I nestled in the stanzas. See, even in beauty they destroy
or write about destroying. Edrood and I plunged into Whitmanís love
poems to himself and the whole earth race. When I felt ído I contain
multitudes í wash over me, I smiled finally, feeling relief descend.
Next, Edrood and I swam into e. e. cummings in just spring, paddling
around in the mud luscious world with the little lame ballonman.
This took up a bit of time. When it was over I was covered in mud
but content and happy. Just letting the breeze turn my pages one
by one by one and feeling the words run up and down my spine was
enough of a massage for me.
I slept for a while. When I woke up I was myself again, not a water
droplet anymore and resting on the ever turning sky watcher futon
in the day room, which is the night room also. I didnít make as
much on the Interplanetary Buy Stocks In Quasar Motels Cheap deal
as IĎd hoped. Well, did anyone?
smiled at me from the other end of the room. Iíve drawn your horoscope
chart, Edrood said. Go sit in the seventh house and tell me what
you think. Watching Jupiter align with Neptune was not as helpful
as Edrood wanted it to be. I jumped from house to house. I sat on
the cusp of Leo and Virgo. I played with the flute of Pan, the representation
of Capricorn the goat. Again mythology and the zodiac blending into
one. Did we try Edrood, I whispered, looking at him pathetically
from the fixed star Sheat, right at 28 degrees of Pisces, the martyr
placement. (I refuse to go there, I simply refuse, donít even ask
me what happened in the Piscean Age. Iíll disintegrate at once.
smiled reassuringly. Yes we did. You did, I did, Zakanko did. Zakanko,
I shouted, I knew it, I knew he was behind your visit, donít think
I was fooled for a moment, Edrood. I jumped down from Leo the lionsí
back, now cavorting all over my day and night room after leaving
his fifth house lair. Shoo boy I said to Mr. Leo as I watched him
and the entire zodiac pattern Edrood had created just for little
me whisked up and away towards the sky light and finally out into
I said again. I knew Zakanko was behind this. You didnít come here
to apply for my unrewarding job for an alien please help ad did
you? No one did why should you? Edrood patted me on the antennas
I use to hear far off musical compositions. Edrood smiled in a condescending
way, having long since morphed himself from a water parasite into
an old graying paternalistic owl, once we left the place of reverie.
Edroodís owl spectacles ran down his nose as he looked down at me,
having grown to his full height of over 20 feet. Luckily, he can
vaporize himself instantly, so I only saw the short version of him,
the larger one being spread out into space.
aliens that you know of would respond to an ad like that, Edrood
said? Isnít that really a cry for help? Didnít you ask in parentheses
for help? Two parentheses stood out on either side of me, quivering
in pain and hurt and humiliation, all the feelings I had been keeping
inside at an unknown level, once I got the letter from the League,
asking what in the universe was going on in the Earth world and
what did I intend to do about it. Edrood reached out his feathery
wing. There there, he said sympathetically, there there. The Galaxy
Association For Detoxification Of Stress To Aliens In Thankless
Jobs is here to help you. We heard your plea.
need help, I need a new job, I stormed at Edrood, lashes of rain
pelting his gigantic bird body. His mirror laser image was now at
full height. His head looked down through the open ceiling in my
modest dwelling. I could barely make out his expression. It looked
stern even down here. You are being silly, he growled in a gravely
undertone. I could see pebbles falling from his mouth and hitting
the space station televiewer that keeps me appraised of how my galactic
stock is doing at all times, nano second by nano second. Ping ping
ping I heard. Sput sput sput. Boo boo boo, I shouted up at him,
the only intelligent communication I could make with the pebble
spouting bird at the moment.
to quit Edrood, I want to quit. I canít take it anymore, so please
stop soft soaping me. You can see whatís going to happen on earth.
You know the future and the past and the present and so do I. We
tried Edrood, I said we tried. You tried, and even Zakanko tried.
I limped across to the edge of the platform of my open air dwelling
place. Sometimes we win. Sometimes we lose. We lost on Mars and
we lost on Earth.
Edrood came back down to my size. Not yet. You donít know that.
I do know that, I shouted. I looked at the sky. I remembered. Mars
was beautiful, Edrood, I mused, all that water cascading down the
mountains. It was sparkling in the winter cities, palaces of silver
glittering in the night. Giant canyons in the desert area. The desert
area was pretty cold, Edrood smiled, if I remember correctly. Sand,
brilliant colors all around the sky, the terrain gleaming with the
rich soil. Yes, Edrood said softly, yes.
wearily on, talking to myself, really. When we took the last remnants
of the microbiological culture that was left on Mars, just those
few pieces, and we came down to Earth to plant themÖ..I had such
hopes. I trailed off. Such hopes it wouldnít happen again, ever.
This time, I said, things will be different. And I knew, I concluded,
still lost in my pictorial wanderings of what was and could have
been on Mars, I knew there would be trace memories still intact
in the structure of the atoms that would leave memories deep in
the recess of the minds of the earth creatures. And that, I finished,
I hoped would prevent what happened on Mars ever happening again.
And now look. I turned to Edrood, to see what answer he could possibly
have for me.
are made of atoms, Edrood said quietly, the same as the Martians
were. It is their structural base, it is the base of all life. What
can we do? His feather wings shuttered and then shrugged. We want
them to learn, he continued. And when they do look what happens,
I finished. Edrood, just look. The smarter they get, the more advanced,
the more developed, look what they do. Thousands of years, I muttered
now, beginning to re-transform into a water droplet. Fight kill
destroy rebuild, fight kill destroy rebuild, until ÖÖ
at Edrood. Until, he said. I know. Until.
you, Edrood said suddenly, looking around for me. Iím here, I sulked.
I put myself back on the water plant nexus. I want to be a water
fine, Edrood soothed me. He became a gentle mist that settled over
me and the water plant nexus. I saw the silence and could hear Edroodís
mind humming along. Iíll come with you, the mist particles said,
spiraling like starlights across the room. The next time you go
there. Okay, I said to Edrood finally, okay. But first weíre making
a pit stop. Where to, Mars, Edrood muttered, whatís the point? You
know what youíll find.
to Mars, I said. To the red earth and the deep canyons on the small
planetoid the next galaxy over, what the League just named the Arizona
Plains. Ah, Edrood muttered, yes. It does look just like Mars, doesnít
it? Yes, I said snuggling up to the tendril of my water plant nexus,