A (as narrator): So I just have to tell you about this guy who used to come by my place all the time.  You gotta hear about this guy; I mean, he was absolutely wacko.  Of course you could tell that just from looking at ‘im, and the fact that he thought he was from a different planet, but that’s just the beginning of the story.  Apparently he also thought that I would love to hear about all his crazy opinions besides, since he would always volunteer them.  And he would have a way of telling them that it was hard to interject one’s own thoughts, or even interrupt him at all.  Or maybe it’s just me, since I’ve got one of those mellow, passive personalities, and you know, I pretty much just go with the flow of things.  I mean, if somebody’s talking, I let them talk until they’re done.  The thing with this guy, though, was it seemed like he was never done talking.  But he was polite enough – or made it seem like he was – to let me ask him a few questions on rare occasions.

Let me tell you about our first meeting, at the beginning – which, as I’ve heard, is a darn good place to start.  I was just sitting there in the shade on my front porch, in one of those, y’know, outdoor chairs that go with picnic sets, with my feet propped up on the small outdoor picnic table it came with, sipping on some lemonade and watching the world go by.  And truth be told, not much was going by, since there’s not much of a view to be had from my front porch, seeing as how there’s a big ol’ house right across the parking lot from it – but hey!  That’s how I like it.  Anyway, I was just sitting there minding my own business, when down the street I see this guy walking in my general direction, and he looks like he came straight out of the ‘30s – dusty ol’ brownish-gray suit, all decked out with three buttoned-up buttons, and a bowler hat.  He was looking all around at everything, squinting his eyes in the sunlight, looking like he was looking for a certain place to go.  Well, heck, I had nothing to do; seems like I might as well offer some help, since he darn well looked like he needed it:

A (as character, to B): May I help you?

B: Yes.  I’m looking for a place to sit down and drink lemonade, and somebody to whom I can spout off all my opinions.

A (suddenly very uninterested in helping; hiding lemonade pitcher behind the table): Well, uh, good luck with that, buddy…

B: What’s that you’re drinking there?

A: It’s, uh, poison.  Anyway, as you can see, I’m very busy…

B: You’re drinking poison?  In a hurry to move on to whatever’s next?

A: Oh, uh, I mean it’s not poison to me, since I’ve…uh…built up an immunity to it.  But it’s poison to anybody else.  Go away.

B (presumptuously pulling up the chair on the other side of the table): …Assuming, of course, that they themselves haven’t built up an immunity to it.  Here, pour me a cup.

(A obeys, unquestioning)

B (after draining the cup): Ah.  That poison hits the spot.  Let’s have another.  (A fills it back up, B drains it again)  That’s about the best poison I’ve ever tasted, and let me tell you, I’ve tasted a good deal of poisons in my lifetime.

A: Have you just.

B: You know, I should tell you I’m from another planet.

A: I noticed, from the attire.

B: No really, I am.

A (wearing his skepticism on his face): Really.  (Sips on some lemonade, looks elsewhere) How very interesting.

B: You don’t believe me, do you.  Eh, no matter.  It’s not really that important.  What’s really important, of course, is all these things that I’ve got to tell you about you guys’ society.  See, I’ve been studying you – er, your people – for the past 30 years or so.  It’s gotten to the point where I refer to you people as “us” and “we” when I’m talking to somebody here.

A: You mean you’ve been blabbing your opinions to others as well?

B: None of your business, buddy.

A: So tell me about this planet you’re from.

B: Nah.  It’s irrelevant, really, to what we’re talking about.

A: What were we talking about?

B: Me.  Now where was I?

A (as narrator, to audience): And this was the general tenor of the discussions we had.  In general, it was about him – or perhaps more precisely, all his silly ideas.  At least that’s the way I saw them.  Anyway, I never could prove to myself that he wasn’t from a different planet, since every time I tried to follow him after one of our interviews, he’d disappear behind some corner, and when I tried to catch up, he was nowhere to be found.  Take this example, for instance: once I insisted upon walking with him on his way out, and as he droned on and on as usual, I noticed that we kept circling a particular block.  Finally, I worked up the nerve to interrupt him:

A (as character, to B): Wait a minute, buddy.  Can you tell me where in the world we’re going?

B: Oh, nowhere in particular.  I was just waiting for you to leave so I could take off.

A: And that’s exactly the reason why I’m not leaving; so I can see you exit to this supposed “other planet” of yours.  I absolutely refuse to leave until I see this.

B: Forget it, buddy.  It’s not going to happen.

A: You might just be surprised at how much stamina I have.

B: Why are you so bent on seeing me leave?

A: Because I want to see how you travel to your “planet!”

B: It’s not important!  And as I’ve told you a bajillion times now, this is the exact kind of unimportant thing that you people are so preoccupied with.

A: Dude, I’LL decide what’s important to me.  And furthermore, if people knew about this space travel?  My goodness, just IMAGINE the awesome movies that could be made.

B: Honk.  You don’t even really believe that I’m from a different planet.

A: My goodness, buddy!  Just show me!

B: If you MUST know, I press a button on my keychain, a continuum conduit whatsit-thingy opens up and I jump through.  I make it home in a matter of seconds.  Satisfied?  I couldn’t tell you the technology behind it anyway.  I just have the keys.  Do you know how your car works?  Exactly.

A: Right, and I’m just going to believe that.  I’m a-stayin’.

B: Hold it.  I just realized I left something back at your place.  Can we go back?

A: Hogwash.  You’re looking for an excuse to get out of this.

B: No really, I think I may have left something there.

A (as narrator): Anyway, he convinced me to go back, I kept my eyes on him like a hawk, he didn’t find what he’d “forgotten,” he asked to use the restroom, and after a quarter of an hour I realized he’d escaped through the back window.  There were a bunch of episodes like this, and finally I just gave up hounding him.  I guess I didn’t have the patience I thought I’d had.

One Comment

  1. Kristie

    I like it, Brian. I like it a lot. You are captivating me.


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