Briton and I leaned close so the other patrons, some of whom were looking at us with a mixture of horrified and curious expressions, could not hear. ‘Why do you think he … she … it … picked us?’
‘Maybe we should ask about gender pronouns,’ Briton suggested.
I nodded. ‘Well, there is that, but why us? I mean, the place is packed! Everyone is already on edge after the election yesterday and now an alien pops us into the coffee shop? Seriously?!’ I look around and stare down a woman at the end of the queue who seemed disturbed at our presence. Or maybe it was my Black Panther T-shirt. ‘This is probably the worst day he … it … whatever! could have picked to show up.’
Before we could continue the conversation, the alien returned.
‘So, everything come out all right?’ I asked with a smile. That bathroom joke always went over well, but as soon as the words left my mouth I remembered I was not talking to a person.
‘If you are referring to my excrement, I must admit I had a bit of difficulty. Earth gravity is often a problem for us.’
I raised my eyebrows at Briton, who asked, ‘So, which restroom did you use? I mean, while here, how do you identify?’ He cut his eyes at me and I gave a thumb’s up.
It replied, ‘Oh, you both are the only ones who can see my true form. Everyone else sees a male gender identified Millenial.’
‘Great,’ we said in unison.
Looking around, the alien asked, ‘So, we have been very interested in this democratic process of yours and I was selected to get a quick tour. I would love for you to take me around and explain what is going on, now that the winner has been announced.’
‘You do realize you brought us to a coffee shop in Casper, Wyoming,’ I said. ‘Neither of us are from here. You picked the state with the highest voter turn-out for the Don, dude. We are out of our element.’
The alien shrugged. ‘Why does that matter? You are both Americans, right? You should be able to walk me around, anywhere in this country, and explain.’
‘You could have taken us to Toronto, Canada,’ Briton offered. He lifted his hand from the table and gestured around the room. ‘Check it out. I don’t know what they see when they look at you, but chances are,’ he added, pointing at me, ‘we don’t exactly fit in. As a matter of fact, why don’t we teleport or whatever to Toronto right now? We could find a coffee shop there to sit in and can leisurely explain –‘
The alien cut him off. ‘Let us walk around. You can tell me more.’ It lifted a tentacle and looked down with one of seven eyes; I assumed it was mimiking a look at a watch. ‘I only have about forty of your earth minutes left.’
‘Hold it.’ It was my turn to interrupt. ‘I’m not telling you anything here. How about this? You take us to where we live and we’ll explain there. Take me back to San Bernardino and take Briton back to New London. Give me 15 minutes, give him 15 minutes, and you’ll have 10 to spare to get back to wherever it is you are from. If that doesn’t work for you, just send us home and find somebody else.’
The alien seemed to think about it for a moment. I blinked and we were standing in my driveway. Briton was gone and I yelled, ‘What did you do with my friend?!’
With a wave of a third tentacle, it answered, ‘He is in stasis in my ship. I’ll finish with you, grab him, and go to his home. He will be fine.’ It slithered to the mailbox and gestured south. ‘Let us walk, yes?’
I sighed and followed. My phone dinged and I checked the message: it was from NextDoor, the neighborhood app. ‘Oh, you might appreciate this,’ I said. ‘This is a mobile application — you do get the whole social media thing, right?’
‘Yeah, so there are quite a few people who planned to vote for the Don,’ I explained. ‘See that house?’ I pointed to a property with a confederate and US flag on the pole out front, along with Trump/Pence signs. ‘There are others but not quite as visible as them. Anyway, this neighbor posted on the site this morning. He is super happy that the Don won.’
‘Why do you call Mr. Trump that?’
I shrugged. ‘I grew up in New Jersey. I watched him build his casinos — the ones for which he declared bankruptcy and about which he said he just used the laws of the land — in Atlantic City. He promised to bring jobs and turn the city around. However, instead of hiring local people, he hired outsiders. I can’t say for sure they were not US citizens or anything like that, but they were not the people of color from the City that he had spoken to and convinced. Wages for the ordinary workers were not great and on top of that, they had to pay for parking off the island and take shuttles to work. This wasn’t included in their work contracts. The city was just as impoverished if not more so after his casinos came. To me, he’s a shyster. The Don.’
The alien nodded. ‘But what about all the people who agreed that he would make America great again? Were they wrong?’
I smiled. ‘If you are doing research, I won’t give you all the answers. Hey, let’s use that teleport thing and go around the city.’
‘Very well.’ It pressed some buttons on some device I couldn’t see. ‘Where are we going?’
I grabbed a few addresses from my mobile. We went to a few downtown areas so the alien could see what many consider the hood. We went to the other side of town to the countryclub area. We stopped at the homeless camp by Fifth Street, checked out the unincorporated section near my house, and then arrived back in my driveway.
‘So many different reactions to the news of this presidency!’ the alien said. It sounded confused. ‘Why is it so?’
‘I’ll put it to you like this: I can’t imagine that someone like the Don has my best interest at heart. Me, a single Black woman. I can’t imagine he has the best interests of many other populations in this country at heart either.’ I looked at the time on my phone and shrugged again. ‘Time is up. Please get Briton out of stasis. Let him tell you about his town. Oh,’ I added. ‘And be sure to let us know what you decide about all this. I mean, what are you going to report back to your … um … people. I certainly want to know.’
The alien nodded and disappeared.
I pulled my keys out of my pocket and walked to the front door. Worried, I said out loud, ‘I hope Briton is okay …’
Aren’t you lucky? An extra Plovember post! What had happened was, the Peppers decided to join forces. If you check our blogs, you’ll find that pairs of us are writing stories for your
annoyance enjoyment. Part Two of this alien embarrassment tale (for those in the know, that’s Promptosaurs #71 and 75) will show up on Punk Rock Papa‘s spot. Stay tuned!