My girlfriend was an alien.
Now, I don't mean this in a metaphorical way. Nor is it an allegory. Nor is it anything as trite as self help book prattle purporting to explain away why men and women sometimes just don't understand each other. I mean it for real.
Oh, and I don't mean it like in the past she happened to be an alien, and it's all safe and sound and we can talk about it now like it's part of the good old days stories we'll all tell our kids.
No, man. She is an alien.
Sure, she looks attractive enough, and I haven't been able to draw her out on whether or not she's just appearing to me as an attractive female of the human species because that's what I expect to see or because that's how she really appears in her native form. I tried, once, but she took it the wrong way, and we weren't speaking for some time.
Past the appearance, otherwise, of an attractive woman, Vorgon is an avid follower of what we call baseball, and happens to follow the Boston Red Sox. What this says about my own particular allegiances (the same) I'm not sure.
And she often screws up what she says into her communicator.
Like, for example, she'll say, "Take me up. I've been found out," as she lifts up her lapel and holds it against the bottom corner of her lip.
And that just can't be right. I'm not just saying this as an avid follower of sci-fi and that sort of thing, she was the one who caught it.
We were sitting there, and she'd dipped a breadstick from the basket in front of us into her tea, as she sometimes did, though this time she caught me eye, with her hand poised there, connected to her tea by a thin stick of bread. The bread stretched out in slow motion like dust motes before a vacuum cleaner, scuttling and screaming silently before the onrushing void. Suddenly, the breadstick had siphoned up too much tea, and the whole thing collapsed into the tea and onto the surrounding table. Neither one of us moved, eyes locked on one another's.
I got the most outrageous itch at behind my left shoulder. I've been that way since I was a kid; the second I shouldn't or couldn't move, there goes the itch. Always on the left shoulder, always diabolically itchy.
So, as I've been doing since I was about five — the first time it struck, during a game of Red Light, Green Light — I scratched it. I gave my neck a good scratch, as well, on my arm's way back to its resting position. But it never made it to resting position, because I froze, when she jerked back to life and yanked her lapel up to the lower corner of her mouth.
Which is when she said the thing about being "taken up."
Now, normally, you'd think that you'd find a suitable period in which to move your arm following the brief bark of a command into one's lapel. Just as soon as she'd said it, though, I knew something was wrong. It was the look on her rather cute, if alien, face.
I can't explain it. It was like the look you'd have on your face the first time you'd found that the steak tartare you just ordered was actually a cow beaten up with a hammer, chopped up into tiny pieces which were beaten again with a smaller hammer, and then sat on a plate as a small, cruel man threw raw eggs at what was left, and not, say, steak with tartar sauce. Or like the look you might have after a particularly vigourous black bean burrito.
It stopped me dead. No urge to itch, not the slightest inclination to move.
"Damn," she said. "I messed up." This explained the lack of bright lights flashing before my eyes, which would surely adjust to find the seat opposite me empty. She dropped her lapel and grinned sheepishly.
That is when it all came out.
And when I say all I mean pretty darn near all of it: interstellar space travel and its effects on the discerning alien's metabolism, decent magazines you can't get anywhere outside of Barnes & Noble, the near universal truth that television is complete and utter rubbish, the other near universal truth that youth is wasted on the young, except for the youth of Pluto, which is wasted on the transgendered race of janitors who have to clean up the detritus of all the aliens passing through customs into the particular solar system we happen to be inhabiting at the moment, except when Neptune is the furtherest object out from the Sun. They deserve it, she said was the consensus of most people. I started to point out that the consensus of most people was perhaps putting it a bit... redundantly, but I didn't.
Well, we hope you enjoyed the last series that just whooshed past, and the little series of one that whizzed past this week.
We hope you kids are out there enjoying your shiney new copies of Panther and everything.