|KPAX: new york alien christmas
Author: Atomdancerrr PM
Prot's adventures in the Big Apple right before he gets committed. He's in a Christmas pageant, plays an elf, meets some other ET's & a Camel with the soul of a Poet named Humpry.Rated: Fiction K - English - Sci-Fi - Words: 10,130 - Reviews: 1 - Published: 01-03-03 - Status: Complete - id: 1159541
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
A K-PAX fan story
written with love
For both gene brewers,
the real and the unreal
For imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
and madam foogie 8-)
I picked central park as my beam in point. Its lower population density compared with the rest of new york made it the safest place to do a rot wa, a beam in where one has not previously studied the location. Rot was can be dangerous. You can understand why. If one beams into a rock or a person, think of the consequences. That is one reason we keep a written record of our travels. The written records have been in several cases the only part of an exploration trip that survives.
So I went from my indiana farm job to being just another homeless penniless hick in the big city. Being an extra terrestrial did not help but it did not hurt much either. New york is full of "aliens." I was just one more. The minute I got there I started walking towards the edge of central park, trying to get the lay of the land, so to speak. That turned out to be a mistake. I should have picked out a ywca ahead of time and beamed directly there. Rot wa dangers or not, there are things in new york more dangerous than not knowing one= s beam in point well.
I was mugged.
The punk that did it, I won't describe him. I feel sorry for him. I don't doubt he needed drugs. If you home sapiens would have the sense to make prozac and other GOOD mood altering drugs as easy to get as the illegal bad ones, you wouldn't have such a problem with illegal drug users. Most of em are trying to self treat their depression or other mental illnesses. Alcoholics for instance are often depressed and would do better to get on happy pills. Some are even schizophrenic and are using the alcohol as a neuroleptic. Its not a good one but it is available EVERYWHERE without a prescription. Thorazine or Haldol you have to get from a shrink and one must risk being locked up to admit to needing them. Put these drugs in vending machines so the users don't even have to embarrass themselves by having to buy them from another being. You would be surprised how many problems in your society would be solved by this.
So in the space of one minute I lost all the money I had, 25 whole bucks. He wanted to take my SUNglasses too but I showed some moxy and refused to hand them over. I would have been painfully blind without them or I wouldn't have made such a fuss. I was lucky. I realize that now but at the time I didn't feel so lucky. But he backed down rather than take them, or I could have been stabbed.
The beam in had used up all my batteries, so now my only transportation was my own feet. I had been planning to shack up at the y for the duration of my visit, but the y does cost something. Until I could figure out how to get some money that was not an option.
Well, there are the homeless shelters. I have stayed in them on many an occasion. I am not proud. I have not only myself to think of but robert. I do what I can to help the big lunk and sleeping in the cold would not be good for either of us.
Now all I had to do was find one.
That is not as easy as it seems. I walked and walked and walked. I tried to ask some of the other bums where one was, but my luck was not with me. The folks I asked were in terrible shape and couldn't tell me a thing. Its a wonder I got committed considering some of the folks that are allowed to run around loose. I tried asking non bums but they just got terrified looks in their eyes and shied away from me. I was a bit grubby myself. After all I had just come from working on a horse farm, so I can't say as I blame them.
"It got very bad for me after the mugging. It's difficult to explain, giselle, I hope you understand," he paused and cleared his throat, momentarily rolling up his eyes. He then leaned close and focused piercingly on my face. "I'm going to be brutally honest here, even though it's an assassination upon my character, and quite an embarrassment. After my meager dollars and cents were torn from my possession-- I lost my battery money-I gave up. There suddenly was no way for me to meet my next window, and I just stopped caring. You would too, realizing you would be stuck on EARTH for the rest of your pitiful existence. It was not a wise thing to do, but I did it anyway. I didn't care about robin, I didn't care about myself. I stopped taking care of our collective body. Didn't shave, wash, didn't try to make new friends. I only drank enough fluid to stay alive, and..."
He gazed down at the floor. "And I didn't eat. As I stated earlier, when a dremer won't eat, he's very, very sick. I was, and I knew it. I just wouldn't admit it to myself. Rob became a kind of crutch for me in the days to follow. 'I'm not helping myself, I'm helping robin' was my daily mantra. Denial can be a very useful tool in these situations, let me tell you! If it wasn't for rob I never would have looked for help. Truthfully, I'd probably be dead by now if it wasn't for his own mental anguish. But then, I've strayed from the subject. Back to new york. "I found shelter wherever I could find it, as usual. There were always times I couldn't find any, though, and I slept in alleys with other street people. It wasn't so bad, some of them were interesting and told great thought provoking stories. Everyone got into it, like a game. Who could come up with the biggest lie. I could always top them, and mine was the truth!
"But, then again, a few of the street people were unbelievably sanguinary. One even had the gall to make off with my extra pair of socks, from right off my hands! I was using them as gloves while I slept. Let me tell you giselle, it's very dangerous to sleep with desperate people if you want to keep your spare socks available. "My not eating was getting dangerous, I was losing weight fast and also necessary energy. I think my low point was 125 pounds, but I could easily be mistaken. It was getting difficult just to stand and walk, but of course I didn't do much to change that. When food was available, I would eat a little, just to keep me going. But I never made an effort to find food on my own. I liked to eat snow. Snow is handy, it hydrates your body and it eventually fills your stomach. Gives you something to chew on so you think you're eating. Ice too, there was plenty of that. Dremers have to have something to chew on or they'll get very antsy, so I raided the frozen items. But then, that won't sustain anyone for any given amount of time. There is no nutritional value in snow at all, and I certainly paid for it. I'd come down with dizzy spells quite often, had a hard time finding the energy to keep walking. I didn't know where I was going, just walking. That's the sojourner in me. "You have to understand, giselle, all K-PAXians are hypoglycemic. We need much more sugar than the human body does. Now, I was in rob's body at the time, but there is still the psychological need for it. Placebo effect I suppose. It does take an awful lot of energy to stay with rob, so that's a factor too. With those aspects combined, I have to ingest the same amount of fructose as I normally would on K-PAX. But, I wasn't doing that! After about two weeks of my anorexia I'd pretty much hit rock bottom. I was beginning to hallucinate, and it was not a pleasant situation. Most of them were gruesome and disturbing. The one I can remember best was when I was strolling down a very crowded street- I couldn't tell you the name -- every human I saw seemed to be drenched in gore. Not their own, but another being's bits. They all had grisly canine teeth protruding from their massive jaws and their eyes lit up like fire. Let me tell you, I ran for the hills on that one! The hallucinations were getting more and more frequent, and I was having a difficult time telling reality from my own mental discharge. "But I got lucky one day. It was freezing cold, and I couldn't seem to find the will to move, so I just dozed right beside a sidewalk. Now, I told you earlier that I'm not a beggar. I will not take charity, I do work for what I get. Seeing as how that's your custom on EARTH, I didn't want to cheat anyone out of their money just because this hick from K-PAX doesn't know the ritual. So, as I drifted off, some woman in very expensive shoes threw me some change. Half mad with hypoglycemia, I got up and chased her shouting something about 'You dropped your money!' Apparently I frightened her, because she ran away from me! I was pretty embarrassed, but happy to have the currency. She had given me fifty cents, just enough to make a call on the pay phone I was leaning against. It didn't come into my mind to SAVE it and buy more batteries.
"As I stated earlier, I knew I needed help. In my mind, I remembered 911. People called that when they were in a dangerous situation, and I was. So that's what I did. I didnt know at the time 911 would have been a free call. But while I was listening to the line ring, I drifted off into la-la land. I saw myself back on K-PAX. Our two SUNS were in conjunction, friendly korms were zooming in the air, there were plenty of ripe yorts close by and smelling wonderful. Everything was peaceful. I could barely hear the operator over the line talking to me as I sank to my knees in the snow.
An overwhelming, desperate need to sleep suddenly came over my body, all the brilliant color faded from my eyes into gray, and surprisingly I found myself in a strange unconscious state of blissful nothingness.
"When I came to, I recognized immediately that I was in a homeless shelter. It just had that look and smell about it. I was happy to be there but needless to say a bit embarrassed that I had to have been brought in unconscious.
"I recognized immediately what was running the place, too.
"Dremers are not the only mirror beamers. There are other class K civilizations that know how to use light as a way of traveling. In fact there are even a few class I and J civilizations that know how, and one rather precocious H civilization that just borders on being called a civilization. There are those that argue the H civilization I am referring to deserves to be labeled a K or even an L! Because it is hard to tell if they are behind us or ahead of us with some of their strange ideas and beliefs.
"Gene roddenberry had the right idea with star trek's noninterference directive. It is the height of idiosity, arrogance and foolhardiness to try and solve another PLANET= S problems for them. Attempts to do so result in more tragedy than help in the long run. That may be why EARTH is in such bad shape as a matter of fact, because your natural social and scientific development was interfered with, producing an ape that knows how to make a nuke when you ought to just now be discovering gunpowder.
"The class H civilization that I am referring to doesn't believe in a noninterference directive. They came to your WORLD thousands of years ago and exposed you to their saints and their sinners. The sinners left you with several nasty venereal diseases. The saints tried to prevent the spread of these in various ways, blowing up sodom and gomorrah for instance, and by encouraging you to marry and form families. These have been your strength and your downfall ever since. They also brought in religious beliefs to enforce their sanitation and behavior rules. You've had them ever since.
"And the ironic thing is they are still doing it for better or for worse. Because they believe what they are teaching. We can't accuse them of being hypocrites. I say that for them, and indeed in this particular instance the androgelous saved robert's and my life.
When I came to and found them staring down at me. I recognized immediately that they were androgelous. This was not due to any alien powers upon my part. The female androgelous was wearing a particular kind of cross that is their own extremely unique design. I got up and looked at it. The female must have recognized that I was also not of EARTH because she put her hand on my head, probing mentally for a symbiont, and of course she found one, (me).
"You are a dremer." she said to me. Her accent was amusing to anyone who had ever been exposed to the bullwinkle cartoons. She sounded just like natasha. Later when I felt better I was tempted to ask her to say, Watch out for moose and squirrel. but I never had the nerve!"
Prot gave me one of his best loopy grins. For him that is an expression of deep amusement. He seldom laughs but he is always grinning.
"I won't tell you her EARTH name because I am sure they are still operating their little homeless shelter. So to give her a name I will just call her natasha. And that of course means I will call the male boris."
"Natasha said to me, I forced sugar in your mouth. I hope you do not mind."
"I shrugged, That is the thing to do when you find one so hypoglycemic they pass out. Thanks for saving our lives. But how come I didnt end up in a hospital?"
"Natasha said, You know us, prot. We have ways of knowing things. We rescued you before they could lock you up in a mental hospital!"
"I was exasperated, But thats what my host needs! Thats what I have been trying to get to happen for almost five years!"
"She shook her head and gently shushed me. At the proper time, it will happen. For now, you are with us. You have not eaten enough. You must eat more. "
"She handed me a plate of cut up oranges. I dug into them eagerly and soon felt better. So what else are you doing on EARTH ? she asked me."
"I shrugged, Besides exploring, honestly, all I have been doing is trying to find help for my host. He is very sick. Oh, that and trying to write a report, which I never seem to find time for, since just trying to survive on this class b world takes all my time and energy."
"Natasha looked at me and said, Your quest will be successful. You will have 6 miracles in new york. It did not amaze me that she knew this. It didn't amaze me that she knew my quest would be successful. I wasn= t exactly sure how she knew but it didn= t impress me."
"I shrugged, If that is supposed to impress me it doesn't. You know we dremers know you do what you do with technology, not magic."
"Natasha tried to look enigmatic, As arthur c clarke said, "Any sufficiency advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." There is no difference, prot"
"There is a big difference!" I insisted.
"No. said the male. A miracle is but an act of God. If I burp that is an act of I. You know how I burp and may even know why I burp but it is still an act of I. If God does something and you know how and why He did it, it is still a miracle."
"I do not believe in god!" I exclaimed.
"Boris nodded, Your species never fell as ours did, and as the EARTHlings did, so you never needed to know of Him, but be assured evolution does not play dice with the UNIVERSE"
"Huh! I said. What is that supposed to mean? And I didn't realize how much of this conversation was being listened to by robert until years later then he expressed the same beliefs back to me. Boris and natasha were more successful than they thought that night. They didn't convert me but they did convert robert, not that he ever told anyone that, but me. If he confessed, an idea like this to dr b, he never will let us out of the hospital!"
"Boris grinned, That which is the final product of evolution does what it must to guarantee its own evolution. "I Am That I AM." "
"I sighed. It was no use arguing with them. Thanks for saving my life anyway. I'll take it that whatever you are doing here on EARTH is on the "side of the angels" or you wouldn't have bothered saving me."
"Natasha shook her head, We did not save you. We only rescued you. Only ONE can save you."
"Like a computer program no doubt. I growled."
"Natasha smiled, Yes, prot, like a computer program. Heaven isn't magic either."
A I do not believe in Heaven.
She smiled like mona liza and asked, do you really think beings in the future would leave that to chance either, prot? A mind really is a terrible thing to waste."
"If GOD exists why is the UNIVERSE headed for destructive implosion? I snapped."
"She asked, "what is the one thing that can go from one expansion-contraction into the next?"
" NO. Information. In the beginning was the WORD. Each expansion and contraction gets better."
" They are all the same." I growled."
" No. They are different, each is getting better. boris and natasha said that together. At short distances they have mild telepathy between their own species."
"No doubt they could have freaked humans out at all times by talking together but it didn't impress me. You say they are different. I say they are all the same. The trouble is, neither of us will ever know. You and I will be dead long before we contract again, and when we return, it will be the same as it was, so we still wont know."
"Boris and natasha grinned, "We won't be dead"
"I sighed. I know they believed in HEAVEN. They may even have helped the process along somehow, or were planning to do so, sometime in their future. It is hard to say with androgelous just what they believe they do and what they believe their I Am does. They don't seem to see a difference between the two. For all we dremers know they may have a HEAVEN somewhere stashed in some other dimension we dremers are not aware of yet."
A Natasha smiled at me. Here is your first miracle.' She handed me a glass of chocolate milk."
"I said, You know I don= t drink milk."
"Natasha smiled, It is not milk from a cow. It is juice from soybeans."
A Oh. I had to admit I was curious. Humans always rave about chocolate milk and I of course had never tasted the stuff. So I drank it."
"Miracle or not, it was mighty good. I grinned and said, Wow!"
"Natasha and boris grinned back."
"Who are your hosts?" I asked them. I did not doubt for a moment that as with Robert and myself, it was strictly voluntary. I was just curious."
"The hosts came out and introduced themselves to me. They didn't have moose and squirrel accents. In fact the male had a pronounced southern drawl. Even to a dremer who is used to dual personalities in one body the contrast between host and symbiont was amusing.
"I will call boris's host bubba."
"And I will call natasha's host, louisey."
"They were both amazed to meet me. Maybe not as amazed as a pair of humans who had never seen an alien before, but amazed never the less. Bubba drawled, If this keeps up, the U.S. Government will have to open up a bureau of extra terrestrial affairs."
"I grinned and then shrugged, That= s reason enough to keep quiet. That's the last thing american taxpayers need, another government bureau. They would probably hire 5000 humans to study and annoy the six of us, or are there more of you here?"
A More. Natasha was back. But I am not letting you know where. Despite what you just said you have been telling."
"I knew they knew that from their little mind probing, Yes. I said. But not proving. My host needs psychiatric help. The easiest way to get it that I can think of is to be thought crazy, which they will eventually, hopefully, if I keep openly admitting I am an extraterrestrial."
"Boris said, You are running out of time."
"I sighed, yes. My last window is only a few months away and when it occurs I don't know what will happen to my host."
"Boris smiled reassuringly. That is miracle number six. It will happen february third, at 9.30 am at the new york bus station."
"I stared at them open mouthed. There must be some way to tell the future. The androgelous can do it. Casey can do it. But we dremers haven't a clue, other than to have someone come from there, and remember time travel is a one way trip so anyone who did that would be stuck in the past. But for all I know the androgelous may have scores of volunteers who do that on a regular basis. It is hard to say with them. They may have rewritten their entire species history from day one forward to suit their liking. No other species would be that fool hardy but the androgelous's faith that I Am guides them makes them fearless even of potential time paradoxes."
"I lay down on the bed again and frowned at them, So what= s my second, third, fourth, and fifth miracle?
"Boris and Natasha both grinned at me and said together, You will know them when you have them."
"I wasnt impressed with this cryptic remark but what could I do? I was beholden to them for rescuing me. I figured I had better do something to make myself useful. It was the proper thing to do."
"They read my mind without reading my mind, that is, they anticipated my next question. Since they weren= t touching me it had to be just a good guess, or was it?"
A Cook. said natasha."
"And that= s what I did. Again they did not force me to compromise my beliefs. It was all vegetarian fare. That caused several of the A customers to grumble, but they couldn=t argue with the fact home made tofu and other veggie dishes were cheaper than dead flesh."
"Natasha told one grumbler. We can feed 15 hungry beings with plants or one with meat, and you might not be the one we'd feed."
"That shut em up."
"The cooking had a positive side effect.
It put me around food all day. That didn't cure my anorexia but in order to cook one must taste, or at least I do. The few extra calories this put into rob and my collective body probably did us a UNIVERSE of good."
"As the days past I got to know my fellow homeless beings. They came in all colors of humans and different shapes and ages, from fat jolly 78 year old Bill Tomlin who could pass for Santa Claus and did indeed make some christmas money that way, to the littlest member snookums, who belonged to an unwed mother who had been abandoned by everybody because she wouldnt kill her baby at an abortion clinic. I will call the mother Sandra Dee but that is not her real name. Publicity because she knew me, is not what she or the kid need. She liked donuts, so I ended up making a lot of donuts."
"I fit in well. People would ask me where I was from, and I would tell them. I never lied. They would get this knowing look in their faces that meant, I know why YOU are here. And some of them would get very uncomfortable and make some weak excuse to leave my presence. Others were fascinated and asked me all sorts of questions about K-PAX, which I was delighted to answer. Homesickness is an agonizingly painful illness and I had a bad case of it. Talking about my home PLANET helped even when I wasnt believed."
"One day Bill Tomlin came to me and said, how would you like to make some money?"
"I gazed at him, I have no green card or social security number or any other documentation to prove I exist and you know homo sapiens are mad with documentation fever. Theres no way to legally pay me."
"Bill gave ME a cheshire cat grin. I will pay you under the table."
"I stared at him confused, How would paying me under a table help me?"
"Bill laughed and explained that idiom to me."
"I said, What do you want me to do?"
" Be an elf. He said, "You are a little short. You will do nicely."
"I should have said no, but like an innocent tooka I said yes, not knowing what I was getting into."
"I didnt know the job involved makeup."
"All I can say is, I dont see how leonard nimoy stands it, either the pointed ears themselves or the humiliation! When bubba/boris saw me, they roared with laughter and wouldnt or couldnt stop. Bubba made the VULCAN salute at me, and was very disappointed that I wouldnt do it back to him, but quite frankly I cant get my fingers to bend that way even if I had wanted to, which I didn't."
"Then to top it all off natasha came to me and told me she wanted me to be one of the three wise guys."
" Her organization did a big living creche every year and they wanted me to handle one of the camels and help with the other animals. Not only was my ability to talk to them a useful skill here, but my lack of substance abuse problems made me more responsible than many of the homeless shelters other denizens. So they trusted me with the animals more."
"So there I was. By day I was wearing pointed ears and a red and white jingle bell cap and herding kids who were on their way to sit on bill tomlin/santas lap. Then I would get home to the shelter just in time to quickly and firmly rip off those blasted pointed ears to put on a turban and robes and play wise guy next to a bunch of other critters, who were dressed up to look as silly as I felt."
"I wasnt cooking any more, and I lost weight again. Plus I had to endure the pitiful story of humphrys life."
TRAVELING MILES FOR A CAMEL
"Anyone who thinks camels are not sensitive beings has never known humphry. humphry was a tan colored, elderly, camel who had seen better days and wasnt about to let anyone forget it. He had the soul of a poet, which was unfortunate because, since he was a camel, writing poetry was an ability that was beyond him. The best he could do was make heart wrenchingly pitiful camel noises that made me ashamed to even be on this PLANET much less, resemble the humans who had enslaved him. As one of the three wise guys he was assigned to me. I was supposed to ride him but I only got up the nerve to ask his permission once, and then, only when it was an emergency.
"So from december first to december twenty-sixth I spent my time from 9 am to 5 pm wearing a santa hat and ears that would have made leonard nimoy blush and from six pm to one am standing around a make shift manger with natasha/louisey as mary and boris/bubba as joseph. Snookums had the not unliked job of being little jesus. The animals that were part of this scene consisted of humphry, two other camels, a pair of sheep named romulus and remus for reasons that are beyond me, and an aging cast away milk cow who was so very grateful she had been spared just a few more weeks from the butcher. We also had a donkey, a dozen chickens and some of new yorks finest pigeons who volunteered themselves for the scene.
Humphry however had not volunteered. He was enslaved against his will and he let us know it in every way a camel can. He spit, he bit, he cursed in camel language. He refused to come when we pulled on his halter. He let us be known he was a conscious objector to the whole bit of humans dragging him around by the nose."
"I did my best to make peace between him and the humans, which was bordering on my compromising my ethical sense, because quite frankly I saw his point quite clearly."
"But I did think the manger scene we were creating was kind of charming, kind of beautiful and kind of profound for humans in a generalized sort of way. If religion had never gone beyond their conceiving of god as a baby born among animals it would be a good thing. The stable was a symbol for all of the UNIVERSE four legged beings, two legged beings and ETs of various sorts sheltered by it and connected together as one biological system. In case you wondered, the panspermia theory is correct."
"It was also fun watching the little ones react to our little scene. We let the little ones pet the sheep. romulus and remus did not mind. We kept the camels away from them though, especially humphry. We didnt want him biting some little kid."
"As it was they hurt him, not the other way around, and even though it was only his pride that was hurt that was bad enough."
"A little human-in-training took one look at humphry and one sniff and proclaimed loudly for all to hear, mama that camels breath stinks!"
"Most four legged beings cant understand human languages. But humphry would have to be smarter than the average camel. He did understand and it hurt him to his marrow. It was indeed the straw that broke the camels heart. He gave a loud camel growl and bolted away from me. It happened so quick I couldnt even grab for his reins but if I had grabbed I couldnt have stopped him anyway. Camels are much stronger than humans and dremers. He took off and I couldnt stop him."
"You would think finding a camel in new york would be easier than it proved to be, especially for a dremer who could use fop wa and inquire of the pigeons for an aerial perspective, but humphy just wasnt that easy to find. One problem there was no word in new york pigeon for camel. I had to explain him to the pigeons this way, "Find a big horse with lumps on his back. But that description caused me to be led by the pigeons to every police horse that had a pack on his back. There was no separate pigeon word for lump and pack. They both were the same so I kept getting sent by birds on wild camel chases."
"I finally spotted him with my fop wa and then I could keep track of him, but keeping track of him and catching him were two different things."
"Camels can out-endure horses. Now a human in good shape can out-endure a horse and robert= s body was in the best shape I could keep it but even we couldn=t out-endure a camel. I knew he had gone to central park but how to catch him?"
"I ran along the streets as fast as I could, my robes flying in the wind. I must have looked a crazy sight. Its a wonder I didn= t get committed then. I could have turned it into a commitment easily but my responsibility for humphry temporarily overwrote my desire to find help for myself and robert."
"So when a taxi driver asked me why I was dressed in a robe and running, I didn= t tell them I was from the planet K-PAX. I said, "I am one of the wise men in a christmas display and my camel has gotten away from me."
"The fellow started laughing, I am from iran. I thought you were one of my fellow country-men."
" You aren= t dressed like this. I pointed out."
" I am dressed as an american, which I am. He grinned. I received citizenship papers just last week!"
"I could tell he was proud of this. I smiled back, congratulations. But excuse me, I have a camel to catch."
" I= ll give you a ride." he said."
"I have no money."
" Ah forget money. I would travel several miles for a camel."
At this, I, (Giselle ) started laughing. Prot stared at me puzzled. It turned out this joke had gone right over his head. He was not familiar with the old cigarette commercial. Actually I am not sure the taxi driver was familiar either. His choice of terms may have just been a coincidence.)
"So I got in the cab and went camel hunting in style. Ali hamini was a cheerful guide. As we drove along he asked me if I was a native of new york. I told him "no" but didn= t go into details. I did not want to frighten him or get committed until I had caught my camel. He told me about his life in iran. I told him I had been there. ThatI had been all over your WORLD. I swallowed when I said that, realizing I had said, "Your WORLD." but fortunately ali didn= t notice."
" Allah be praised! Ali told me, Someone who has seen my country!"
"And then he waxed elegant about the beauty and virtue of iran for several minutes. I let him talk. I did not want to disagree with him. Almost everybody loves where they were brought up. I had met beings who did not like K-PAX even, but liked their own overly bright, over crowded, WORLDS, so who was I to judge? Plus I wasn= t about to snuff out his enthusiasm since he was being so kind to help "a fellow dessert creature."
He also didn=t question how I knew where to go. Which is fortunate. Without explaining I was a dremer I don= t know how I could have explained fop wa. Ali just took it for granted that I somehow knew where my camel had gone. Ali took me to central park and I said, Ok this is as close as you can get to him by car. Thanks ever so much! I got out of the car and waved as ali took off.
"AndI continued to run after humphry."
"I found him under a tree looking forlorn. A small crowd had gathered. Let me through." I begged. "This is my camel."
"They saw how I was dressed and started laughing. I shrugged, I am in a christmas stable scene and he got away from me."
" Oh said a little girl. I just thought you were crazy."
"I gave her a half frown, half smile, "kid you don= t know the half of it."
"They let me through and I grabbed humphry by the halter."
" Shame on you! I felt to him. Making me chase you all this way. If it wasn= t for a fellow desert being I would never have got here. "
Humphry stared at me and frowned which isn= t hard for a camel to do. My breath stinks. he felt to me. That little kid back at the stable said my breath stinks!"
"I groaned, Humphrey you are a CAMEL. Your breath is supposed to stink! That= s no reason to run away! How do you think the stable scene will look with just two camels, though admittedly the bible doesn= t say how many wise guys there really were."
" I don= t like it that my breath stinks. " Humphrey complained.
" Get down. I said out loud. I felt to him, pardon me for riding you but we can get back faster with four legs in action instead of six."
" Don= t mind," humphrey said sourly. You have got to be the first two legged that ever even apologized for the humiliation."
"He got down and I got on. He got back up again with me aboard."
"I felt to him, Thanks. Believe me you I feel for the wretched circumstances of your life, but really, count your blessings, I have been all over africa and australia. There are camels who are slaves to humans who have it much harder."
"As we galloped back to the homeless shelter I told humphry about some of the other camels I had met and how one had helped me rescue a lady who was about to be stoned."
"Humphry growled, You telling me about how bad other camels have it, doesn=t make ME feel any better."
"I nodded, Sorry. It is a bad habit I have picked up from humans. To quote one of their own humorists who sees the irony of this, "I cried because I had no shoes until I met a man who had no feet. That really cheered me up.""
Humphry made a kind of sound camels make when they are bitterly amused. I still wish my breath didn= t stink."
"I felt to him, I wish I could do something about that.
"As it was I found something that could be done."
"So there I am galloping and weaving my way through thick christmas eve new york traffic, riding a camel and dressed in a turban and robe."
"As I galloped past a gas station I saw a little brownie scout in her uniform holding up a sign, candy canes. I wondered....
" Go over there. I told humphry. He obliged without protest. He knew he had been a bad boy."
"I walked him right over to the kids. They parted like the red sea as I came into their midst. I smiled, kids I haven= t a dime to my name but would you feed my camel some candy canes anyway? His breath is so bad it is embarrassing him. "
"The troop leader=s mouth was so open she could have caught a fly. I grinned at her. I know you humans are carnivorous but I also know you don=t eat flies. Please close your mouth before you have a chance to try."
"That didn=t help. Her mouth remained open, "You humans"?= You aren=t human?"
"No I am a dremer from the planet K-PAX"
"Sometimes the truth will shock people into helping me. I wasn= t in any danger then of being committed. Humphry could even outrun a mounted policemen."
"She got between the kids and me like I was dangerous and they needed protecting. I smiled, Relax. My species is harmless. I ask again, Would you help my camel with his halitosis?"
" Ah, I guess so." she said, We are all supposed to do at least one good deed a day. This is one good deed we won=t forget soon!"
"So humphry got a good snack and he enjoyed it."
"The little girls had a ball feeding humphry. I smiled at them as he finished his snack quickly. Thanks kids! I= d buy some more candy canes from you but as I said, I haven= t a dime. Adios!"
"I galloped off leaving behind a troop of giggling girl scouts."
"I made it back to the stable scene."
"Natasha scolded me, Where were you?"
"I grinned at her, So, you don= t know EVERY little detail of my life! Interesting. Humphry got away from me because he was embarrassed about his breath. So I had to chase him down and have some brownies feed him some candy canes to make his breath smell better."
"Natasha nodded like this was the most normal thing in the WORLD to say. Well, take your position."
"So that= s how I spent christmas eve, alien style, being one of the three wise guys in a manger scene. I grinned and thought to myself, If only my fellow dremers could see me now!
Christmas eve our manger scene had an addition, one other of new york= s finest homeless had decided that the hay was a softer, warmer place to sleep than under a bridge somewhere. Natasha, boris, hosts, and myself didn= t have the heart to rouse him to chase him off or invite him into the shelter. We just threw a bit of hay over him. In the darkness he barely showed. I knew the next day natasha would try to persuade him to enter their shelter and their anti-alcohol program. I am glad to say she succeeded."
"I stared at the little domestic scene, baby, shepherds, wise guys, camels, sheep, mary joseph and sleeping drunk. I smiled. The sleeping drunk was probably the most realistic part. "joseph/bubba/boris and mary/louisey/natasha and baby jesus/snookums, were a bit too clean for ancient jerusalem= s third world conditions."
"Dozens of people at a time crowded around ooing and ahing at the baby in the manger.
I smiled. Snookums was a cute little tyke. He smiled back at me. I didn= t believe in god and I certainly didn= t think snookums was god but I felt strangely warmed by his smile as if for a few seconds even my highly analytical alien mind felt there was something supernatural about a being I had seen burp up his baby food a few hours earlier. Natasha placed her hand on my shoulder. Do you know who jesus is, prot? she asked."
" An ancient human being who met with a bad end." I growled."
"Natasha shook her head Maybe in a time line long extinct but He is exactly who the Human race wants Him to be. The Powers that can, saw to that. "
" Humans always go extinct." I growled. "You know that."
" Natasha shook her head, "Not these humans, not this time. We see to it. They have a destiny beyond your comprehension."
"You made their situation worse! I growled.
Then I stared at her grumpily and said, jesus did make good furniture, and I admit, if someone has to run the UNIVERSE, I would prefer it to be ran by a being who was born among quadrupeds on a backwards PLANET, then other human concepts of god, snooty, tyranical zeus for instance, or that kid killing bael, but why the carpenter and not the one the humans call buddha? "
"Natasha grinned, Easy prot, read their words. It is obvious to all who do so. Buddha doesnt want the job. Jesus does. Jesus is like us, prot. He comes into the brains of those who ask Him in.' "
"I growled again, but natasha just smiled and started singing a christmas carol. The crowd around us joined her.
" Let heaven and nature sing Let heaven and nature sing. Let heaven and heaven and nature sing." Natasha had a beautiful voice, and bubba joined her. I have no idea why boris wasn=t in control of their body at that moment."
"I wanted to sing. I really did, not because I believed in jesus but because I believed in snookums, and in boris and natasha, and in robert, and in myself. I believed in the UNIVERSE. I opened my mouth to sing, but I stopped myself. I know I am an off key singer, and I didn=t want to spoil the moment. This is one heavenly being who does not have a heavenly voice. I felt a little sad."
"Suddenly something happened that cheered me up immensely."
"I felt robert stirring within me, and he said, in very quiet timid voice, merry christmas, prot!"
"My face showed my surprise. These were the first words robert had spoke to me in literally years!
I started talking internally to him, but he would not say another thing, but I had heard him say merry christmas! To me that was a kind of miracle, albeit not a supernatural one. The emotions and enchantment of the moment had got to me even. No wonder it got to my host who had been brought up by a religious mother.
Natasha grinned at me and held up two fingers, Two." she said."
"I shook my head in rueful acknowledgment that she had got me. I gave her a little smile, not my usual cheshire cat grin. In fact she was the one with the cheshire cat grin. However the androgelous foretold the future she had foretold robert saying merry christmas to me, which was all the more remarkable because robert= s voice had been internal so how she knew robert had spoken to me, I do not know. How she knew ahead of time that robert would speak to me, I doubly do not know."
"Natasha smiled at me, prot, do you know why jesus chose to be born among four legged beings?"
"I shrugged, No one chooses where they are born."
"She gave me a mona lisa like smile, There are multitudes of time lines and MULTIVERSES where jesus did."
"I said, All right. I will humor you. Why did jesus chose to be born among quadrupeds?"
"Natasha said with solemn joy, Because HE came for them too. All life is sacred from proto-viruses on up to the Most High Himself and all are part of the same evolutionary chain, the circle of life."
"I shrugged, "I wish so even if I do not believe so."
"Natasha grinned at me, Well wishing so is a start."
"Christmas eve we kept the stable scene going until two in the morning. There is an old english superstition that the animals can talk for a few moments at midnight on christmas eve. Now I don= t have to wait for christmas eve to communicate with animals, but for amusement I decided to listen more carefully to what they said around then. It was not inspiring.
"Most of it consisted of animal snoring. The only animals that stayed awake were the featherless two-legged ones."
"I roused humphry just to have some company."
" Is it morning yet?" he asked opening up one eye half way."
" No." I felt to him playfully. It is midnight christmas eve when you guys are supposed to be full of deep wisdom. Have you any for me?"
"Humphry sighed, Yes. It is called, Go to sleep."
"Bubba suddenly said, Ah sweet sleep that knits of the raveled sleeve of care, chief nourisher of life= s feast."
"I was a little surprised that bubba knew any shakespeare which shows how even a dremer can be fooled by stereotyping. Bubba sounded like an escapee from the old tv show hee haw but as I got to know him I realized he had the heart, and brains of a poet and he was very well read. He had the only kind of education that matters in the UNIVERSE, the kind that comes from learning on one= s own simply because one wants to know things. He could quote the bible and shakespeare and milton= s paradise lost and paradise regained for page after page, as well as scads of other poetry. It was kind of funny hearing it drawled."
"It was only days later that I realized bubba couldn= t possibly have understood what humphry had just said to me, or could he?"
Prot stared at the ceiling and said, "giselle I admt it, there are things in this UNIVERSE, and on this WORLD especially that I do not understand."
"Christmas was fun. bill tomlin played santa claus for us too, and there were presents for everyone, even the stable drunk who had just joined us that day. They gave me a whole stocking full of oranges and apples, and another carton of soy chocolate milk. Temporarily my anorexia was at bay. I ate till I had to sleep it off. Im glad I didnt have to sleep as long as humans because that meant I woke up in time to go out and see most of the big parade.
"No one knows how to celebrate like humans and humans celebrate nothing as much as christmas and no one knows how to celebrate chirstmas like the denizens of new york. I will say that for humans. Pageantry you do better than anyone else we know in the UNIVERSE, and christmas new york parades are the best I have ever seen.
Float after float went by. Band after band went by. Balloon after balloon went by. They were the most impressive of all. Tons of candy were thrown. I even got some, but I ended up giving it to the kids back at the shelter. I didnt have the heart to eat it myself.
I shivered and watched and enjoyed. Robert in me was silent. His one appearance had been to tell me merry christmas and I was amazed and thankful enough that he had at least done that.
I spent christmas with the androgelous and new years too. I was with the l990 crowd in times square watching the ball drop. Cold january turned into drizzly february, and the snow just kept coming and coming. I like all of new york, was tired of it. I considered beaming to a warmer climate, but I remembered what natasha had said about the "miracle" at the bus station so I stayed and shivered in new york. By then I had no money again. I had ended up giving almost all I had made from my elf job to snookums mama in the hopes she could get the kid some warmer clothes. I counted the days. Sometimes I counted the seconds! It seemed to take forever for the day of my "miracle," to come. Then when it did come I almost missed it.
I had bought a new mirror and a fresh flashlight, of course. That was the first and only thing I did with the money playing elf had earned me, and I used them too, to take the cow mildred to india where she would be safe from being eaten. The farmer who owned mildred had planned to send her to slaughter after her christmas gig but I stopped that. He was madder than the proverbial wet hornet when he realized his cow was gone, but he did not figure out where or why she had disappeared. He chalked it up to new yorks high crime levels. Natasha/louisey and boris/bubba knew, of course, but they quietly sided with me.
It didnt start off like any miracle. I had just beamed back from finding mildred safer pastures when I got mugged again! I had given away almost all of the money I had made but I had kept enough to buy new batteries. Alas that money was taken from me, and my new flashlight and mirror. It happened to be before dawn so my SUN glasses were on my nightstand instead of on my face, which is the only reason they werent stolen. This mugger did not use a knife, he used a gun, and he had a harder edge about him than the other mugger. I dont know if his problem was, needing drugs, or what, but he was the kind of thief that gets you humans tough on crime. Even I wouldnt have been too sorry if he had been arrested and locked up permanently somewhere provided it was a comfortable cage.
Because he didnt threaten me, he threatened sandra dee and snookums. I turned over every penny or he would have shot them! They had been helping me put the garbage out. That is all we were doing. We just dropped off the trash at the curb, turned around to go back inside the building, and WHAM this predator had a gun up to sandra dees head!
The time when this happened was the day I was supposed to be receiving my sixth miracle, that despite the fact I hadnt received miracles 3, 4, and 5, yet. Apparently they would all happen at once. Now I was in a terrible fix. I had depended on having my new flashlight, mirror and batteries to get to the New York bus station in time. I had planned to stop off at the homeless shelter just long enough to pick up my stuff. But the second mugging left me without a mirror and a flashlight again, or money to buy any of them or the batteries I would need to make them work! Now the only way to make it to the bus station was to use my own two feet and I realized with a broken heart I would never make it in time. If the time of my rescue was indeed a firm february third, at 9.30 am at the new york bus station there was no way I could make it in time, not even if someone gave me a lift.
I woke natasha to see if I could borrow a flashlight, batteries and a mirror from them.
She only smiled at me, and said, No. Walk."
"I knew there was no way to make it in time. I left swearing at androgelous vagueness and androgelous tendency to be over dramatic about things. They are even worse than nolians at this, and nolians are even worse at it then humans! And you humans are pretty bad! You never do anything in a simple, straightforward way, if you can turn it into a drama instead. Grrr!"
So there I was hurrying to the new york bus station on foot, swearing under my breath and no doubt looking plenty crazy. I suppose under the circumstances that was helpful, I kept reminding my heaving lungs and sore feet that the androgelous said I would receive a A miracle at such and such time. I did not believe in miracles but I knew they had some way to tell the future.
As I ran down the street I saw a trash can with something shiny in it.
I stared. It was a hand mirror someone was throwing away. The frame was a bit shabby, that is all, the mirror itself was in perfect condition. It didn=t look much different from the one I had been robbed of in the first mugging. I turned it over. Sure enough its original place of purchase had been walmart too, just like the mirror Robert and I had found in a freeby box at a garage sale years ago. Miracle or coincidence? I say coincidence but I know what the androgelous would have said.
Well I still couldn= t mirror beam without a flashlight or batteries, but I pocketed the mirror anyway. One never knows.
Maybe batteries would fall out of the sky. Yeah sure.
I was passing through a low rent district of town at the moment. As I rushed under a tenement window I heard hollering. I looked up in time to see a human say, And take your damn boom box with you! And crash, a boom box was thrown out of the window! It landed practically at my feet and the battery cover popped off revealing its contents. I shook my head in wonderment. I looked at the boom box,. It was wrecked. Suddenly an angry looking human came up to me. A Oh look at it! he yelled. Tawny you have gone too far! Then he said a lot more, none of which would be polite to repeat here.
I pried the batteries out of the busted music machine, These are still good. I pointed out to him. I wasn= t about to steal even as desperate as my circumstances were.
"Its junk now! he growled."
A But the batteries are still good. I pointed out again.
A Man what good are batteries without the box. Its busted beyond repair!
A You don= t want the batteries? I exclaimed. I could hardly believe my good fortune.
" Keep em, the man snarled, jammed his hands in his pockets and went trudging off like the weight of the UNIVERSE was on his shoulders.
I continued on my journey to the new york bus station in a slightly lighter mood. I now had a mirror and batteries. Could I possibly hope for a flashlight too? I needed one, that was for sure, if I was to make it to the bus station by 9.30 when my prophesied A rescue was going to take place.
As I ran along I came to a salvation army store that was just opening up. I gazed at it with a mixture of hope and despair. It was a big store. I was pretty sure I could find a flashlight in it somewhere, but I hadn= t a dime to my name.
But there was a pay phone and several paper boxes in front of the store. I thought, A what the heck, I felt the coin return slots, and for the third time that night I got lucky.
Two of the paper boxes and the pay phone yielded me a hot 75 cents change.
I entered the salvation army store. I was practically trembling with anticipation and worry. I could feel robert inside of me, trembling too. It was a big store and I hadn= t the slightest idea where to look andI was rapidly running out of time.
I asked a saleslady, Do you have any flashlights for sale?
"She looked at me, You look like you could use a good meal more than a flashlight. Our soup kitchen is in the back.
"I smiled, Ah thanks, but I really just want to purchase a flashlight.
"She shrugged and led me to the electronics section. Now I had batteries, and a little money. The big question was, would I find a working flashlight that took the size c batteries that I had at the price I could afford to pay?
I found one alright, and it was just 50 cents.
With the salesgirls permission I slipped my batteries in the flashlight. It worked!
I handed her the 50 cents, Here you ring it up for me. I gotta go.
She said, Why can= t you ring it up? But before she could finish saying it I used my new flashlight and my mirror right in front of her. I hope she doesn=t think she needs medication, but I was that desperate and that much running out of time."
Well, I immediately found myself at the Bus station. You know the rest of the story from there.
Back to Index On to next story