The Earthling Condition

Mark wouldn’t crook his neck because the locals considered it unusual to see a mans neck slink below his shoulders. He would only wear a t shirt in city for much the same reason. His other arms were wrapped around his chest, as if in disapproval. Mark was passing for human, idle lower arms or not.

He was lost and stranded, far from the kissing doves or any other recognizable constellation. He would find his way back to the country every month just to make sure. Mark never could see anyone familiar: just the sisters, the twins, the hunter and a few others he had grown acquainted with. He wanted to cry, seemed to be one of the smarter things the locals did. Sadly, he was lacking in capability.

Downtown, he walked to his job. In a denim jacket and ironic shirt, stingy brim fedora and he strutted like a frood, but he wasn’t together at all. On the sidewalk, Mark saw Paul, Paul was one of his; if he could call anyone here that. You never quite knew where anyone is from but they see your peccadilloes and you see their’s.

They said they’re greetings and a knowing nod. They’d never talk to each other for long. An odd phrase might slip and it may be made apparent that these two aren’t from around here. It was actually quite pointless, English allowed for so much metaphor that any mention of star charts or propulsion would be shrugged off as odd lingo.

“It gets easier.”

Mark was stirred from his inner distance and met Paul’s gaze. A hipster and a man dressed in at least three hundred dollars, six foot five and five foot seven respectively, they were an odd contrast and people might talk. This wasn’t how it goes usually.

“Easier? How?”

“You’ll learn that everybody’s passing here.”

“They’re all?” Mark’s mind was slightly blown, luckily he had an extra.

“No, not like that. What I mean is what you’re experiencing isolation, paranoia, plain old fear, everybody feels it. We just try and not think about it.”

“Does that work?”

“Sometimes. Friends help.”

“How do I make friends here?”

“That’s the great thing Mark, all you need is to find common ground and you’ve got that.”

“What do I have?”

“Fear and lots of it. Trust me, it’s what most conversations come down to here.”

“It can’t be that easy.”

“Hey, you’ve already made one.”

With a fist bump to the shoulder, Paul disappeared into the crowd. Mark looked across the crowd but couldn’t find him. As he looked into the crowd, he saw more and more fear. They were all scared and it was all so wonderful.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Evelyn
    Sep 04, 2011 @ 21:18:32

    “Mark’s mind was slightly blown, luckily he had an extra.”


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