Observation Station: Bus #20, 3:45PM

I fold myself into invisible spaces. Like a cat, my tail forgotten.

The man next to me is foam packed, bloated with winter. A crooked old man hand escapes his sleeve and pulls me from my hiding space. He points: “I want to murder those birds.”

Other men who are never not drunk barely hold themselves erect and have lived in these seats forever. Each wears flannel shirt and wool knit cap and missing teeth from intentions and accidents. Each has never been young, ghost locked at forty and remembering.

The bus stops and the smell of whisky and crackers staggers upright to challenge his prison. He yells at the door, neglecting to note the gesture required to opensaysme. Resting his forehead against the glass he yells DRIVER again and again until one man holds his jacket to keep the marionette from earning his mouth more empty spaces, while another holds open the door. He doesn’t recognize this crack team responsible for another day without a head injury. Waiting for him is a woman bright orange and shit talking and far away from her own AA coin, waving a giant pillowtop mattress sign, half turned to her drive-by audience.

I can’t picture this man drinking from a straw, or wrapping a present, or repotting a plant. I can’t imagine him looking at the lines in my hand and comparing them to his own, wondering if they overlap and if they do will they click to key so we can both remap. I can’t imagine him having questions for the pharmacist, asking for more foam on his latte, coloring as a way to relax.

He probably can’t imagine me at all.

Teenagers travel in packs, wearing insides out, congested with canned laughter. Heart shapes drawn on cheeks and decorating tights and desperation, while others announcing the discomforts of business casual balance tupperware containers emptied of sugary treats a little too close to my head.

Valentine’s Day helps women hate each other. Velour balloons announce confections and give my face another something to dodge. Fat wads of fast dying flowers peek out of backpacks and wink at the downcast face of the sour-anointed someone who might just fatten her social network with ruminations on being alone. She adjusts hairclips cast as flowers that resemble stars. If such devices were used to puncture, she’d be left with wind spun hair.

Evidence that meth remains a problem despite the state-wide ban on effective allergy medication locks us all in place. It reeks of impatience and is sponsored by Apple. Some fucking fuck filled rant about whether or not a transfer is still valid, yells to move back move back, the snap of a plastic container being pried apart for a taste of cake and a guilty grin. Unwashed hair in front of me. Bleached hair beside me. All of us are itchy.

We pass strippers arranging themselves outside of clubs to smile at those looking for love. The unmarked graves of Chinese men and women who built this city in secret. Two elderly women with careful grey curls, holding a soup bowl between them. A pack of people dressed as sharks with paper hearts glued all over their bodies, twirling red gift bags and giggling. A sign that reads: “The really dangerous power lines don’t spark or slither. They just lay there.”

Arms arranged in triangles clutch poles and trap sounds. A single seat remains unclaimed, no matter the claustrophobia of passengers. Wrist tattoos drawn with hands sloppy or steady snake away from skin. Me, hoping to claim them. Me, slapped alive by earphones gone wild, the mortified wielder of the whip apologizing more and more. A pant leg hides something yellow. A sneak at something pink. Four rolling can of ceremony.

My stomach is in my hands.

reporting on the condition of being human (in america) to the home planet: September

some people are on to me

the crank-wanker at the bus stop who repeatedly asked for change, and didn’t understand when i explained i’ll have nothing to do with his campaign slogans. then he stared at me and stared at me and said “who are you?” and smelled my undercover, and luckily the 20 arrived exactly then.

pamphleteers with their prophets, ornery white and usually dead and likely unable to speak the important follow up question: “Can’t you take a joke?” she cornered me on burnside with her fat stack and drowned expression and little dog occupying a baby stroller and announced her own salvation. hidden gills tickled and i scratched while her lips cast calculations so i slithered before her math found my matrix.

merry wanderers who notice the stars in my eyes and the eyes all over my body, iris to iris with other eye-pods accurately detecting the skipping spinning of my soft insides. we greet in clicks and shake mitts and post walk-away the hooks remain.

still: most are not on to me.

television is very important here

when the hovering ships the US government assures have never been identified arrive, many will be glued to their televisions waiting for someone on the other side of the mystical talking box to confirm the testimony of their senses.

while the nail biting meat is sufficiently occupied, those who have electrostimulated their unmentionables will assume the lotus position and levitate for entry. don’t worry: the few witnesses will likely be written off by uncolorfuls as white-light purple-shroud finger-twirl-by-the-temple acid-popping sky-is-falling psychonauts, or rambling hyperactive unmedicated children in need of a time-out and an older, more glasses-wearing therapist. In the morning those uncolorfuls code crazy will simply be gone. Poof.

television is very important.

day jobs occupy time

this joke is at least as good as the one that begins with a prophet and some pamphlets. after taking out fake money from fake government to go to real school to memorize faulty theories, individuals work meaningless jobs they attended college to avoid to make barely enough fake money to return to the fake government. because they owe them.

captured: a reflection in a pool of water. only the water is real. i tell them. they don’t believe me.

so i tell them it’s television, and if what they’re watching is dull they can turn it off. they say, “what else would I do with my time?” I’m not sure how to answer this.

television is very important.

sound is a strange thing

some humans restrict the experience to ears and fail to activate the sensors sleeping in exposed hair follicles. a cello isn’t simply drunk in a eardrum, it runs a track up arms and over skull and wraps string tight around throat until eyes water mercy. voice isn’t simply a means of message delivery, it’s the creation of a heart egg perfect and warm before slow hatching. each individual accent scaling jagged cliff sides and rolling down green hills and coyote hopping fences and dumping tea in harbors and dipping into great lakes and crawling off pan handles eating hotcakes and collared greens. every cracking knee and whispered judgment and falling down laugh presses me closer to overwhelmed, tips the scales a single weight further into wow.

when my own voice hunts for sound escape, words chosen so each syllable enunciated matters, it’s then i notice how few spend time on the business of listening. No, not until they’re aware of some absence, only longing activates neglected drums and the instruments that accompany them, and only then do they open a little for the greater a-ha.

they’ll never hear us coming.

crows continue to be a nuisance

closest to angels are crows, the closest to flying humans are pigeons. mating of these two beings produces a dumb crow, wandering into the road head bobbing to earth pulse. stand by for the coming 18 wheeler. a fellow other-thing asks if that’s what i am under this exoskeleton – a dumb crow. Gabriel assures me there’s a compliment in there.

two on the wire, waiting. mated for life, nearly toppling the upper branches of a nearby tree with the volume of their night time roost.

they definitely are on to me. good thing no one is listening.

americans like to burn books

words are sacred, pressed into the offerings of trees and preserved for some period of time before they are boiled down to catch phrases and pressed into pamphlets. humans show disdain for one another by burning their favorite books and melting words away. these humans don’t know the internet exists and the books they are burning have already been scanned and are being actively distributed for free, as we speak, by THE GOOGLE. some are very upset by this development. now they’ll never burn all the copies. it’s book immortality, until the internets fail us, and free knowledge until a student loan is required for access.

other ways to know immortality

across the street from the bus stop a black woman wearing house shoes and a long flowing skirt and a pink sweatshirt walks a slow procession on the sidewalk, cradling a life-sized doll dressed as a bride on her big day. each step fluid and perfect, dedicated transient approaches with extended hand to inquire about contribution. the doll, not the woman, turns into the outstretched paw and offers the soliciting an answer.

this is better than television.

my ears tell me to turn up the sound. she has opted for immortality, to color pamphlets conjured around book-fed bonfires by those too afraid to say her name seven times in a pool of water.

i listen, and the doll tells me it’s love of death informing every waking action executed with an eye on the end. informing disrespect for the ocean, a need to hasten the apocalypse so all standing around can see the spectacle. not enough to color it black with oil, why not drip it in blue paint so children wander our terrified and Avatar dyed? why not speed our evolution with skin burnt red and eyes stone flat?

she keeps walking, on to something and way beyond me. and i remember: nothing carries sound like water.

still: they are not listening.