A man ponders his past, present, and future
|I should know better than to go for a stroll at two in the morning. But the heat from that huge orange ball in the sky makes life pretty miserable during the day. So here I am, standing on the street corner, staring up at a brilliant three-quarter moon. I can't tell whether it's waxing or waning, because I haven't been paying attention lately. But the view is impressive, regardless.
Down here on Earth, all the evening chirping and rasping of the insect world has quieted down, and nothing seems alive but me and several moths that are dancing around the street light. Half an hour ago I thought I saw a UFO pass over, but that's getting rather common lately. The only thing that was unusual was that this one was kind of daisy shaped, while the others I've seen were more triangular.
I wonder if they're all from the same planet. I mean, why would they be flying in ships that are different shapes? Testing new designs, maybe? Whomever they are, and whatever they're up to, none has tried to land yet. And since they don't seem to have any harmful intentions, the UN has convinced all the developed countries to leave them alone until we've learned more about them.
What's really ironic is that I should be wondering about aliens, when I'm one myself. I've been on this planet for so long – at least sixty years – that I think of myself as just another Earthling. And, luckily, my appearance isn't so different that I can't blend in. It took some minor alterations, like wearing a wig to hide the smooth fuzz that, on Earth, looks more like, oh, say, the pelt of a lion or tiger. And a fair amount of makeup makes my skin look pretty human.
Three hundred of my people came to Earth over a twenty-year period, and I can only guess how many are still alive. Originally, we'd planned to learn as much as possible about Earth and its inhabitants, with the intention of taking over when the time was right. But gradually I grew complacent and decided I was happier just being an Earthling. And I'm assuming the same feelings calmed the barbarous desires of the others, because I've heard of no attempts by my race to conquer the planet.
But these days, some of us are having second thoughts – both about taking over and staying here. Those with whom I maintain regular communication – especially those living in the United States – have become quite disillusioned about all we once found promising. Society, the environment, you name it. It's all going downhill. Politics? Don't get me started. We're willing to wait a while for signs of improvement, but we're also planning our departure, just in case.
I'm not sure whether any of the recent UFOs are from my planet, and I hesitate to try contacting them, in case they're from a planet that was at war with mine. So we just need to wait until one or more of them lands. If they're ours, there's our ticket home. And if they're not ours, it will take some time and trouble to overwhelm them, but once we do, to use a local colloquialism, we're outta here.
NOTE: Written for a Writer's Cramp prompt to use the words in bold.