Friday, October 11, 2013

The Prison Of Language

            The aliens came for me last night. They were covered in peach-skin and crow feathers. Their eyes were the color of sunset.
            The aliens came for me, and they had other things on their minds than I. 'Finally,' I thought. What could I do?
            Things looked obtuse in the cafeteria light they emitted from their plaster chest plates.
            The aliens wore what they came in. Some were in shorts and not one of them were wearing socks. I thought spacesuits would’ve been appropriate. They told me, “Can’t we get a break here? Nobody sent us a dress code.”
            I was lying in my bed, imagining what life would be like without toes. I was innocent. All the lights were off. Not even a louse was stirring. Little could I have guessed, otherworldly appropriate arrangements were being made for me all the while.
            The aliens were wearing goat heads as masks at first, but removed them politely after a short moment of my staring. They laid the goat heads on the floor. I was glad they were not laid on my bed. 
            I asked them if the world they came from was as round as this one. The shortest one (some were as tall as my escritoire) told me, “Ha! Your world is not round. It is an oblate spheroid, dummy.”                  
            I hadn’t expected to be paralyzed with just looks. I’d thought at first, ‘Perhaps they will use ray guns to numb me up.’ I was sorely disappointed that they were without weapons of any sort. They had belts with no buckles. Their hair was like chewed beef jerky, except most of them were blonds.
            The aliens used their hands like wands. I spied one of them casting a spell on my toaster. I told him, “Hey, buddy boy. Why don’t you try your luck on my computer? It hasn’t worked in years.”
            He made a gesture that usually accompanies a laugh without laughing. He said, “I don’t know your language, you coprophagous dick. Get it?”
            “What the…?” I managed to exclaim/mutter before his look set my mouth to mute.
            I lay there before them, unable to move or speak. Strangely enough I wasn’t worried about my situation. I felt at peace, dashed with a slight tingle of euphoria even. They rummaged through my things. One of them cut his leg (they had two legs, just like us-- though theirs were hairless and thin as pencils) on a safety pin protruding from a jacket in my closet. He (I assumed they were all males; I’m not sure why) screamed out, “I am not human but I still need to be loved!” Then he slammed the closet door closed and began to softly cry. His tears were hot, and I could hear them singeing my carpet as they fell.
            The aliens came for me, and they didn’t make much noise or start a fuss over it. They moved gracefully in smooth arcs of compassion. I traced their motions with my eyes. All seemed well.
            The aliens came for me. They wanted to improve their spelling. I wanted to help them, but for some reason I did not. My fingers ached with carpal-tunnel nightmares.
            An alien, one who seemed brave and hardy, gave me use of my mouth again. I immediately wished he hadn’t.
            “Help us to be accurate in our communication, please.”
            “Not I. Not me. Not this here paralyzed sucker. That’s for sure.”
            “Our brains are silicone. Nobody’s taught us how to be compassionate.”
            “Join the fucking club.”
            “That’s it. All communication is quite pointless. We get it. We’re out of here.”
            “Good. Oh, and by the way, one more thing: could you fix my TV before you go? It only speaks when spoken to. I can’t stand it.”       
             They gathered around my bed. I noticed for the first time that there were five of them in all. They were wearing black lab coats. I gathered a bit of gall and told them, “Okay. Listen. I’ll give you some advice before you split.” They all bent over a tad at the waist in expectation. “Nauseous is properly used only to mean ‘causing nausea’ and it is incorrect to use it to mean ‘affected with nausea.’ When you feel sick to your stomach you feel nauseated. There, does that help?”
            They were all smiles, though their smiles were lizard smiles: mostly licks of their thin tongues over their thin lips.
            They left as quickly as they’d come, without a trace.
            My TV hasn’t been quite the same ever since.