This humanness is four walls an inch away from what I call nose.
You know the cheesy slogans: Come to Earth, pilot a human. Let your wildest dreams come true. Tourists pay ridiculous amounts for sex. It’s disgusting, really. All these barbaric emotions, I don’t know how humans cope. It’s beyond me.
Thank the Gods for intergalactic sex trafficking regulations and for the treaty condemning abuse and recording of lower life forms. Gives my undercover work legal grounds.
Hadn’t heard my daughter for some minutes. What was she doing? Why wasn’t she singing? I peeked out of the window. The garden glowed in the afternoon sun. There she was, under the umbrella, sitting in the inflatable kiddy pool.
Something caught her attention. I went to check. “Sweety?” Emily chewed something. “Darling, what are you eating?” She pointed at the empty chair near the pool. “Yucky bug. The lady said I had to, so you’re safe.”
I have to stay awake and write. The blizzard howls. I sit and write, and can’t feel my fingers. Can’t feel anything below my chest. I’m dying, I know.
Guilt crushes my bones. Words carve at my soul, exposing it. Parts of me are broken beyond repair. The void roars burning through my head. Again I am all: starved, thirsty, furious, desperate… For what I did, and can’t take back. I pay.
To whomever: I am. Human.
Your coffee cup waits on the kitchen table. The red of your lips stays on it’s edge, till we meet again. Your brand of property, I’ll never wipe off.
“Love, you’re safe with me.” I whisper vows into your hair, but you’re asleep. You never hear me.
Why did you go, where I can’t follow? Your funeral cuts, and I lose count of the terrors these nights bleed.
I stop waking up from them.
I’m a woodsy guy. Look, I stick out, like a grizzly in a daycare center. Just how you’d expect me. Big, tattooed, dark clothed, the obligatory beard, the hunting knife, the observing. You call it lurking, I know.
People are dumb like sheep, but they can tell for once. They jump, as I appear on street corners, in front of their doors, beside their cars, in their bedrooms.
I give them reason to.
My hands shake as I carry in the tray. These last few steps are the hardest, and the porcelain rattles a bit. Our old blue pot and the golden rimmed cups from our wedding. Ginny is so brave.
I remind myself, there is no other way. “Jack, how wonderful!” She beams up to me happily, but I know she cries herself to sleep. It’s our 62nd anniversary. “It’ll go fast,” I tell her, “it’s foxglove.”