A Photo Snapped Shortly Before I was Lifted Aboard the Alien Space Craft

by on February 18, 2012 :: 0 comments

My ex-wife took this photo. If I seem distracted, it’s because I was. I was just leaving the Museum of My Perpetual Despair. I wore a white shirt and jeans. The bronze-buckled belt is lost to history, as is the single gold earring. I carried a sheaf of papers, though I cannot recall anything about them. Perhaps they concerned my then-recent divorce. Perhaps they documented my mortgage, the foreclosure, my lengthy illness, my three surgeries. I recall the museum and the exhibition clearly, though. In one especially vivid memory, I’m standing before a painting of my ex-wife, a portrait painted by her subsequent husband. I recall that the portrait was somehow lopsided and that her stubby fingers were emerging from a jar of peanut butter. Even now, the symbolism escapes me. Then the aliens decided to stun me with some sort of ray later that afternoon, a ray that made me lightheaded at first, but then more lucid than I’d ever been. They lifted me through the ceiling of my rental house on Water Street, I passed through the ceiling and the roof, emerging into a sunny day filled with the sounds of children playing. My children. Caitlyn and Laura. They looked up briefly, smiled, waved. I waved and smiled as I floated over the trees. I remember a white horse, a gray umbrella. I remember tumbling. I threw my hands forward and I rolled. Ah, my poor friends, thick with gravity, you can’t imagine the freedom I felt. When they dropped me back to earth and I began wandering among you again, I carried the secret under my tongue like a wafer of light. You can’t touch me now. Go ahead. Try.

editors note:

This world is where we belong: where we’re lucky to be doomed. Sciences will never save us from sadness, though peanut butter will almost certainly bring some sort of salvation. This story hints at how amazingly lucky we are to forget things; to have gaping holes in our memory. If our brains didn’t cleanse our thoughts like our bodies cleanse our toxins by urine, every time we are dropped back to earth could be the end of us. – tm

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