Saturday, February 14, 2009

A Resident Alien Leaves Town (a true-enough story)

On June 16, 1988, a mere five days before the Summer Solstice was to fry itself upon our parched and arid land, my girlfriend Eveready (named for the electrical battery as well as her sexual proclivities) and I had the opportunity to transport a resident alien to her Space Relay Vehicle. This alien’s name was, and still is, Iwanna Offargon. She’s from the planet Fargon. Like all Fargonians, she has the same last name. (This evidently makes a certain sense, from a Fargonian point of view.) At any rate, when Iwanna needed transportation to her Space Relay Vehicle (appropriately parked at the El Paso International Airport), Eveready and I eagerly leapt at our chance to participate in an unexpected new adventure.

We entered El Paso from the northeast side as evening fell with an audible “thump,” and as soon as we pulled onto Fred Wilson Boulevard, we knew that we had entered a different space/time reality mode. Traffic lights blinked on and off in sporadic unison like a slow-motion Morse code aimed everywhere and nowhere at once. Neon signs crackled and glowed in the darkening haze. Chinese restaurants, boot factories, and assorted military-industrial complexes beckoned in the distance. Soldier cars, driven by Bliss soldiers and emblazoned with totemic mandalas, cut through the traffic like hand grenades. The Franklin Mountains were semi-obscured by a thin reptilian haze which covered everything. The crescent moon whispered its silent whispers from the west. El Pasoans were everywhere. No matter where you looked, there was sure to be an El Pasoan in view.

But all we wanted at the time was dead lettuce.

“Having fun and sharing it is what Fargonians are all about,” Iwanna said.

“Victim mode is down the road,” Eveready replied.

“Where is the dead lettuce bar?” I asked.

Dead lettuce with sauce. And nothing else would do. We quickly became quite intent upon our quest, for all intense and purposes. We passed the 39¢ Big Gulp with scarcely a glance. The 49¢ Super Slurpee barely rated our attention. It’s DEAD LETTUCE that we want, and if we want it, you better just bet that we’re gonna get it, yeah! So we drove under the Interstate onto the frontage road on the other side from the side where we’d just been, passed a fond dude in the parking lot, retrieved ancient lip ripper memories from our collective primal subconscious, and told assorted lip stories and aphorisms, such as, “Get them lips outta you mouth — you don’t know where they been!”

“Don’t say ‘lips,’” Eveready explained with a camped-up Texas twang, “Say ‘lee-ups’.”

“I got a scientific dada and a mystical mom,” Iwanna replied.

I just sat there and took notes. (Hence the graphic accuracy of this tale.)

We passed the Bone & Joint Clinic, and it was then and there that I sensed that something was different: dead lettuce was just around the bend! And sure enough, at that very moment, from just around the bend appeared the Dead Steer Steakhouse and Lettuce Bar. So we stopped and went inside, being quite hungry for dead lettuce by that time.

“Fargon is farther out than far out,” said Iwanna by way of enhancing the conversation.

“Form is not what this is about,” Eveready replied by way of reply.

Then Iwanna and Eveready proceeded to fill their stomachs with a volatile concoction of dead lettuce, fried crustaceans, and freeze-modified bovine lactation product, while the Keeper of the Gate made lewd comments from his table and I watched in fascination, almost too preoccupied to eat my own meal of dead lettuce and dried sunflower seeds. (The Sunflower Kid rides again, but once again we digress.)

After we returned from Pause Mode, we found ourselves already at the airport saying goodbye to each other. Goodbye and God Bless. (God is the same no matter what planet we come from or live on.)

As Iwanna checked her ticket to ride, Eveready and I looked out the window and discovered a plane with a heart on. The heart was on the plane’s tail. Tail with a heart on -- this seemed a highly significant omen to lovers like ourselves, so imagine our surprise when we discovered that Iwanna’s Space Relay Vehicle Boarding Pass also had a heart on! Such a magnificent set of omens! This was just before the air-pert-nuurd walked by in the Main Human Walkway Area. (At least, that’s what my notes say.)

“It must have something to do with the Perpetual Pause Mode Effect,” I stated to each other, and we all seemed to agree at the time.

Then Iwanna performed a departure ritual for us. First, she gave Eveready a magic crystal exploding with a powerful spiritual light. “You are the bearer of Light,” Iwanna said, giving Eveready the crystal. “Thank you!” Eveready said, giving Iwanna a great big hug.

Then Iwanna turned to me and gave me two magic seeds. “You are the seed planter; nurture these seeds well,” she said. She also gave me a magic medallion to remember her by. “Thank you!” I said, giving her a great big hug.

Then Eveready stood up and flicked her bod just so, saying, “We interrupt this mood to bring you a blast from the past!” giving a little sideways half-step in time to the cadence of her chant, and right at that very moment, the loudspeaker spoke to us. “The Fargonian Resident Alien Space Relay Vehicle is now preparing for launch,” the mechanical metallic voice informed us.

After last hugs, Iwanna disappeared into the depths of the vehicle and we were no longer in direct sensory access mode with her, though our hearts were still together.

Eveready and I watched the launch preparations from the airport window. “Goodbye and God Bless, Iwanna. Godspeed on your journey. We love you.” was our silent benediction to her as we watched the last minute launch preparation procedure.

The launch itself took but an instant: a flash and the Space Relay Vehicle was gone. Our mission accomplished, Eveready and I left the airport and disappeared into the warm summer night. And that’s a whole nuther story.

—written June 17-18, 1988 (while it was still fresh)


This seems like an appropriate place to post the lyrics to a song I wrote about Eveready in 1989. She will always occupy a fond corner of my memory bank.


When I was young and full of spice,
I had a friend, and she was really nice.

She always knew just how to live.
She always knew just how to give.

She once was my heart’s delight.
She used to keep me up all night.

She helped me to understand
That love is always close at hand.

Just open up to who I am,
And love is always close at hand.

Love, love, love, love,
Love is always close at hand.


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