You’d think they’d learn to build real hospitals by now… Ah, those bipedals… At least they have cute nurses! Sweet time, sweet indeed, sadly it all should end someday. I remember, back then my saucer got caught in the loop. Those magnetic fields here can be very annoying. What an adventure, I tell you. I was alone, just a passerby making an emergency landing. They liked my drawings! I didn’t know then, saw later on those, yes, yes, pyramids. It is indeed flattering to see my art so widely used, although they have lost the skill really quickly. They liked me, they even adopted my name.
“It’s time for your afternoon injection, sir. Let me roll up your sleeve.”
She is nice.
“All done, sir. Do you wish anything? A snack, maybe?”
Too nice if you ask me.
“No, no, please do not do that. Doctor’s orders.”
She has a soft touch.
“You should be resting.”
She thinks I am old.
I suppose I am, by their standards; what has it been—five thousand Earth years, give or take a few? But my suit is still pretty well attached, so it won’t be anytime soon that they find out. They now think I have anemia. Maybe one day they will know. Imagine the looks on their faces when that happens… My daughter didn’t want me to leave; the young generation doesn’t understand our sentiments. Let them think what they want, no trouble. I wanted to see this planet again, I liked it here back then. Walking on two legs was very new for me… adjusted quickly. Now suits are much better designed, no discomfort at all. My tail is fixed on the inside, and my claws are hidden into what looks like somewhat unusually long fingers with pointy nails. They have five fingers here, very amusing. Our anthropologists say they evolved from apes. Intriguing, never seen apes on my home world. Can’t help feeling amazed here, so much to learn… My wife thought I was insane for coming back here. She too, thinks I am old.
“Sir, you have a visitor.”
“Please, come in, he is ready to receive you.”
Her light hand on my pillow.
“If you need anything, press this red button.”
Doors closed behind her back…
“They said I’d find you here.”
Who is he? Seems like a new suit, I don’t recognize him. Maybe someone from the recent wave; I heard they were dropping off frequently now after me… And then again, maybe not.
“I have good news.”
Did my wife send him??? She has connections, I know.
“We had problems with our launch sequencer, but it is solved now. In 2012, with the upcoming solar storm, it will be safe for you to leave.”
Say what you wish, I am not going with you. I came here to explore, I like it here. You cannot make me leave, not now when I am enjoying it so much. I even learned to like their food… Can’t you see?! This is my life now.
“D May’A, your family is expecting you home.”
Look at me again, suit. Who is my family, where is my home? You punished me for exposing our culture! Outcast, I had to resign, end my career, move to some forsaken moon, then wait to see if the effect was damaging to us. It wasn’t, but no apology to me followed. Now it’s history. Their history. I guess my grandchildren will now have to carry on without me. Annoyed, they said I talked too much. Wouldn’t anyone when there’s no one to listen? How ironic, true freedom of speech… Can’t blame that on us too, but you keep saying it is the side effect of our presence! One—I was one—what could I do? I watched them, how they grew and developed. I never knew this would be possible but I learned their ways! Look again—they like me here. They read my books, they watch my shows, they accept me, and love… Now you see where my home is?! Where’s that damn button?!
“He hasn’t spoken a word.” The visitor looked upset.
“He is tired.”
Her voice is soft, too. She always takes such a good care of me.
“I should come back again.” Visitor insisted.
“Doctors do not want him to be disturbed; he needs rest, plenty of rest.” She firmly led the guest out of the room and something in her voice made D May’A think he wouldn’t be seeing this visitor, or anyone like him, again.
She returned to puff up D May’A’s pillow and draw the curtains. Her soft hand touched his. She then mischievously winked at the alien and took off her latex gloves, flashing her what looked like somewhat unusually long fingers, with pointy nails.
Camilla Stein ©2011. All rights reserved.