On my home planet I was trained in slime mold.
I am a highly-trained slime mold specialist.
Anything you want to know about slime mold, just ask me. I’m your man.
I was sent to Earth as the slime mold member of our research team. That was the assumption. The culmination of years and more years of specialized training.
So when our anthropologist was eaten by dogs and they picked me to replace him, it came as a surprise.
It caught me unprepared.
Certain slime molds, the going gets rough, the individual organisms can band together into a sort of larger organism, the individuals specializing in certain tasks such as locomotion, protection (dying to form a protective “skin”), perception (forming a rudimentary light-sensing “eye”) etc.
With that caveat, here a couple observations.
Driving through their urban habitat yesterday, I observed a couple.
She was on the skinny side, with a lank blondish mullet hairdo that looked as if she cut it herself. About 35 years old. The man she was walking with, who seemed to be her partner, judging from body language, was recovering from a recent injury. This could be seen from the way he moved – large, round careful movements, with a larger space of vulnerability around him than humans normally have, moving his head slowly as if his eyes stuck out on 5-foot stalks and he had to be careful not to hit anything with them. Slow, careful steps.
Also, his head was completely bandaged except for one eye, with fresh bandages.
Just like this kid in a story I’m currently writing.
The woman was looking out for him. They appeared to be taking their first trip outside their apartment since his return home from the hospital. Get some fresh air. Some exercise.
She was losing patience with his whiny, overcautious demeanor and wished he would recover as fast as the heroes in movies. He was traumatized by a dangerous world and fearful of all its sharp edges, dirt and large, hard, noisy things full of momentum.
They stood there and waited for the traffic light to change.
Later, in the boardroom of an international organization, I observed a second couple. She was about 22 and beautiful. He was in his forties, small and appeared intelligent, well-educated and successful. Both were well-dressed. She entered the room from a door near where I sat and signaled to him where he sat across the room.
They communicated with hand signals and mouthed words. This proved insufficient for them, so she walked over to where he was and they had a whispered conversation.
Later they were standing by me talking. I couldn’t hear what they were saying. But it seemed likely that they were having an affair, although they didn’t touch, because she was wearing a man’s watch. A small man’s watch, as in the watch of a small man, the size and sort he would wear. Expensive, rectangular “doctor’s watch”, leather band. Too big for her, the band, she had it on the smallest setting, the last hole, and it still hung down loosely around the trapezium and pisiform bones of her hand, so to speak.
And women wearing guys’ watches is at least as sexy as women wearing men’s shirts.
Moreover: a human recently told me I was more attractive when wearing my reading glasses and should wear them all the time. This I did yesterday, when not driving, and had the following experiences:
- Executive summary: a whole bunch of women made contact with me. Conclusion: either glasses cause women to talk to me, or they’ve been doing it all along and I didn’t notice before because I wasn’t wearing glasses.
A woman in her early forties (blonde, attractive, well-dressed, nice shoes, red mini-dress, elaborate diamond/gold ring on the ring-finger of her right hand i.e. married as that is the custom in Austria) came over to where I sat in a low chair in the lounge working on my Apple iBook and asked if the seat next to me was taken. I replied that it was not, to my knowledge. She then said, “cool computer,” and crossed her legs in such a manner that the battery charge on my iBook instantly increased from 28% to 35%. I responded by smiling and saying, “heh.”
Then I returned my attention to the work I was doing on the iBook. No further conversation ensued.
Between five and ten minutes later, the woman rose in what struck me as an abrupt manner and walked briskly towards the elevators and out of my field of vision, her nylons throwing sparks sufficient to light a medium-sized room or power an electric razor, and the heels of her high-heeled pumps making clicking noises although the floor was carpeted.
I feared she was on her way home to kick her dog.
I missed dealing with slime molds and wondered what else I should have said. I wondered whether I should have replied, Yes, and you’re pretty, and my batteries will be dead in 45 minutes but you’ll still be pretty. (I decided not).
Later, it occurred to me that the events had progressed in an optimal way because here I had said nothing at all and still pissed her off, some relationships are better off dead you know?
Later, two women in the conference, after checking me out for a long time, asked me if I were someone else. I replied that no, I was me, and apologized for that fact. The first one left without further incident, the second felt the need to explain that she had been given the description of a man who must be my cousin and gave me this hand shake/hold/squeeze thing humans do sometimes at funerals when they are consoling someone. It felt out of place.
Afterwards, I wondered whether I could have gotten more entertainment out of the situation by telling her, when she mentioned the description/cousin, Oh, you must mean George Clooney, that happens all the time.
I concluded, probably not.