Thursday, July 16, 2015

have you met my sister?

One of the main benefits of having an older brother is all the guys he introduces you to. My brother never disappointed when it came to introducing me to guys. It helped that he was a model and frequently had bit parts in shows with my favorite actors.
"Hey, James," He'd casually say to James Lye. "Have you met my sister?"
All I had to do was shake hands, smile, and say hi. I was cool just by association.
In fact, my brother, Stephen, ran into Keagan Kang, my very favorite actor at the time, and Keagan asked how I was and told my brother to tell me hi. 
Yes, I was living the dream.
Most of these guys I just met in passing. There were a few that I ended up being friends with, and a few that I had crushes on. 
My freshman year in college, Stephen was a sophomore. I was extremely shy and nervous, and my brother was nice enough to eat every meal with me. He usually showed up with some guys in tow. They'd walk into the Four Winds, and he'd say, "Have you met my sister?"
I started hinting to him which guys I'd like to meet. He'd usually brush me off but end up introducing me anyway. Most meals involved my being the only girl at the table. I did make girlfriends at work and in classes, but I was quite content to hang out with a bunch of guys.
The guys I hung out with that Freshman year pretty much all became like brothers to me. I ended up hanging out with them more than I did my own brother. I also made some friends of my own. I didn't really need my brother to introduce me anymore.
But he did introduce me to one more guy at the very end of my freshman year. We were getting our food and discussing the casting list for the upcoming production of A Midsummer Night's Dream the next semester. Stephen was telling me about a guy who had been cast perfectly as the lion. I had no clue who that guy was.
"You've never met him?" He was incredulous. "Well, there he is right there.
"Hey, Mike! Have you met my sister?"

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

An alien revival

I want to write. I'm starting a new blog in hopes that it will encourage me to write. I've spent all of my energy first figuring out what email address I used when I created this blog years ago, and second trying to revamp it a bit. So I will start off with an oldie (but one of my favorites). My newfound love of Doctor Who has revived my old flame with aliens in general. So here's a college paper entitled "My Home Planet."

I guess you could say I was your typical alien stranded on earth. I had all the usual questions: where did I come from? How did I get here? Why had I come here? I had no recollection of life before earth, but somehow I knew I’d had one. Since I didn’t really differ from normal humans, I fit in pretty well on earth. I couldn’t remember anything before Mrs. Wilson took me in. She wouldn’t tell me anything about where or how she got me, just that we needed each other. I agreed with her there. I loved Mrs. Wilson more than anyone in the world—possibly in the universe. 
I don’t know what brought the memories on—maybe the sense of comfort as I settled into my new life—but soon after I turned nineteen I began to remember.
I sat on the couch in our living room at eleven o'clock on a Friday night. The romantic comedy playing on the television provided the only light in the room, and Mrs. Wilson snored softly in the recliner. I'd had a hard week of classes at the local college, and I was enjoying relaxing. I don't even know why I thought of it, but I did.
The ocean. I didn’t know what else to call it—I didn’t remember it having a name. Unlike the choppy, ever-moving ocean on earth, this ocean sat completely still. Even my strokes through it as I swam barely rippled the surface. The expanse of bright green almost resembled jello, but it lacked the stickiness. The land dropped off right where the ocean started, but not having something solid under my feet didn’t scare me. The ocean held me up. An oxymoron of an ocean—strong, yet I still cut through it easily with smooth, quick strokes. I weighed nothing in this ocean; I could move freely—do whatever I wanted—and not fear falling. And possibly better than any other feature, I stepped out completely dry.
I stepped out, not onto sand, but onto bright green rubbery-foam. The entire stretch of land looked like a child’s foam floor puzzle. I marveled that the foam was exactly the same color as the ocean, but, upon closer inspection, I realized the ocean was actually transparent, the bright green showing from the foam below. I lay down on the soft foam, enjoying the far-off sun.
After that first memory, they just seemed to flood over me, one after the other, colliding on their way.
At the edge of the foam, the yellow fuzz covered the ground. The fuzz felt like a furry blanket before its first washing. I knew shoes didn’t exist here and I knew why. 
I breathed in and out blue. The air was blue, but such a light blue that you could easily see through it. It reminded me of the ocean in the morning on earth, when a light fog hangs over the water. I blew and a cloud of blue puffed out of my mouth, swirling away.
I recognized clouds of purple held up by short black trunks as the equivalent of trees. Identical, they dotted the landscape in a symmetrical pattern. Had someone planted these purposely? I hadn’t known then and I didn’t know now. I buried my face in a cloud of fluff and breathed in the scent. For some reason I thought of Gain detergent. 
Peace and an almost startling silence surrounded me as I ambled along. Quiet such as this didn’t exist anywhere on earth—on earth something always moved. There were no other creatures around, aliens or animals—if we had animals. I couldn’t remember any. I knew aliens did live on this planet, but I didn’t know where. I walked through my memory a little more before I remembered.
Most of the planet remained natural because everyone lived in one central city. My steps slowed with apprehension as I neared Wwespo, the city. The blue air slowly became a murky gray and towering black buildings stood out starkly against the yellow sky. Aliens lived in something like colonies in these foreboding black buildings. I picked out the one I had lived in. Food and other necessities were manufactured in shorter versions of these buildings. The aliens hadn’t considered entertainment a necessity. I hadn’t really minded though—I’d rather wonder off and enjoy nature. I wouldn’t have missed television even if I’d known about it. 
Gray aliens walked the red-dirt streets slowly, without purpose. The streets were dry because it only rained every tenth day. When it did rain, no one went outside. I did.
I remembered the strange looks I had received. I enjoyed the rain. I enjoyed nature. I changed color—going from happy orange to sad blue to angry red, but never gray. I knew they could change color too, if they’d had any emotions. I wondered why they didn’t.
The sun shone eighteen hours a day; pitch-black night with no moon was three hours long. The aliens worked eighteen hours and slept three. They had no weeks, no years, only days. Why keep track when you had nothing to look forward to? Why live?
I left the city in my memory for I could stand to be there no longer, just as I could not stand to be there when I’d lived on Tespp. I worked like they did, but not all the time. Sometimes I escaped.
I ran through the trees and remembered rain. Like the ocean, it wasn’t exactly water. It slid off my skin without leaving a trace and disappeared into the yellow fuzz. I stuck my tongue out and caught a drop. It sat on my tongue leaving a sweet, spicy taste until I gulped it down. I tried to catch it in my hands, but it just slid through my fingers. I turned my face to the sky and the soft drops slid down my cheeks like tears. Only then I’d never heard of tears.
A guard caught me, as they always had, and dragged me back to Wwespo, back to my factory. My punishment was no lunch. I wasn’t hungry. The factory smelled bitter, but no one else noticed. Various machines and tables and assembly lines crowded the large, dark room—a window two feet square provided the only light. Gray aliens did their work quickly and efficiently. Machines droned, metal clanked, no one talked. I wasn’t like them. I did my work quickly and efficiently, but I was blue.
The aliens never talked. I knew they could because I did; at least I thought I did. They just ignored me. 
The minute no one was paying attention, I left again. I didn’t really want dinner anyway. They wouldn’t get mad; they didn’t care enough. 
But someone did care. Someone said I didn’t belong on Tespp. They made me a human, opened a door in the bubble, and shot me to earth. 
Terror rendered me speechless, unable to argue with their decision. I didn’t want to leave my ocean, and my trees, and the rain. 
I came back from my memory to the dim room. I looked over at Mrs. Wilson's sleeping form.
But I’d forgotten them. And now that I was home on earth, they didn’t really seem that great.