Saturday, October 23, 2004

Ribbons of Reality

All those lessons back on Farnsworth Planet were now next to useless. To be a human being, they told him, you had to get up on your hind legs, wear an expression that denied your real thoughts and utter nothing but non-sequiturs.

Now, all that was out of the window, along with the good intentions which, as an alien, he had earned here in a brain fundamentally ill-designed, as it turned out, for Earthly living.

He squatted on the Persian carpet in front of a lady human whom he had been nuzzling with his nose, only to be spurned for maladroit foreplay.

The sitting-room was going round and round. Evidently, they (whoever “they” were, he never really understood, other than that they had investments in Farnsworth as well as Earth) were forthwith taking him back home - incredibly utilising the house where he happened to be situated as the transport vehicle.

His recently acquired lady friend was too frightened to be angry. When she saw street-lights flashing by her sitting-room window, it crossed her mind that she must be drunk rather than frightened.

Beyond the reaches of the Known Universe, a few miles from the Untenable Universe, there are bedraggled streamers of reality known as the Cat-Tails. Between one particular fork of two such streamers of reality, sat the Farnsworth Planet, flashing on and off as it rhythmically passed in and then out of each existence. Those who lived there consequently taught their offspring with alternating history books. Much confusion was relieved by such means.

They were a pretty clever race and managed to set up scenarios where it became sensible (and even possible) to send some of their number to other worlds in the particular reality they were, at the time, living through. The rationale was now of course unknown, because it happened to be recorded in history books currently not in existence. But as long as they knew there was a rationale (like human belief in God) they believed in it wholeheartedly and waited patiently for re-enlightenment.

They forgot for a while, in fact, that some of their number had been sent off on trans-universal reconnoitres. They didn’t notice they had forgotten, since their minds were fully occupied with deep philosophical yearnings.

The particular sun-star which serviced Farnsworth Planet was not so reliable as the one to which humans have grown accustomed. But when a semidetached house from Purley, Surrey, England, rose slowly above the horizon, its strangeness was sufficient to surprise even those up early jogging on all fours.

However, what they might have seen through its bedroom window, if it had not been curtained over, would have changed what later in fact became quite a significant religious experience into something far more down to earth.

Or vice versa.

(published ‘Mystique’ 1995)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Faith is a curious thing.