I met an alien last night.
It was hard to tell at first till he told me. Jojo looked just like us, spoke like us too. Well, almost. The key to telling them apart was to watch their throats. There was no movement there when they spoke as the sounds were produced from vibrations in their nose bridge. If you listened carefully, they ‘spoke’ through their nose. They only opened their mouths to blend in.
Anyway, apparently he was here for work. I didn’t know much about extraterrestrial culture, but I supposed one didn’t run far from the economic machinery; even if you were 20 light years away. He said he was working in HR for a video game company. I found it strangely comforting that there was a video game market for such a technologically advanced people (actually, how should I address his civilisation). He literally beamed here. Took him all of five seconds too.
So, he was looking for a human as a subject matter expert for a title they were developing. It was about an office drone working the nine-to-five and the goal of the game was to stay in your job till you retired. I told him that was basically my life, alongside nearly everyone in the bar now. I asked why would that be fun. It turned out that his people were born creators, naturally compelled to be entrepreneurial. The lucky few who could stick to a routine job were revered and highly regarded, taking in financial rewards that their social status demanded. I did not really understand how that worked, but I supposed to each his own.
In any case, he said that I qualified for the role; he had been observing me for a week. It didn’t feel creepy, but I imagined I would have called the police if another human told me that. Funny how perspectives worked.
He said we could leave tonight if I was okay. I was – there was not much for me on Earth I thought. I called my parents, told them I would be going away on business. I told my girlfriend we were breaking up, I wanted to since a long time ago anyway.
Then we beamed up to his ship. Jojo said I would have about a week here, my human body needed to be prepared for space travel. After that, it was a matter of seconds to his planet.
Anyway, I should stop now, it feels good to get some writing done. I have been wanting to write for a while – perhaps I can start on a novel too.
They found my novel. Jojo was very disappointed. He thought I was not a creator. He said I could have become one of the elites in his society, but the upper echelons would never accept me now that I had shown the ability to imagine.
I asked if I will be sent back to Earth. He said I still qualified for the job. Maybe I should write less, but it felt almost compelling to pen my thoughts. I wondered if being exposed to an entrepreneurial people had some sort of effect on me.
Okay, we are beaming soon. I am quite excited for my new life.
Today is my third year on Xiagon (this was the closest English equivalent I could muster). Looking back, life hadn’t been too bad.
Due to my need to write, I am an X4 in terms of social class. It’s equivalent to the middle class on Earth, which was pretty much what I was. It is quite ironic really, that I am exactly where I left off.
I work a day job at the video game studio while writing short stories in a blog when I have some free time. Maybe I should go back to Earth this year, but I said the same last year so we shall see.
In any case, I need to go now – got to beat the morning commute.
Thanks for reading. This is a bit of a deviation from the last two stories which were darker in nature This is slightly satirical?
I guess it gives expression to the concept that value is often subject to one’s perspective. The protagonist (can I even use that for this story?) going a full circle is also a ‘concept’ I enjoy reading about in stories – thought it would be fun to try exploring it for this piece.
Let me know your thoughts.