Catalyst

Extraterrestrial nervous systems never had been my cup of tea (in fact, I never thought I could be privy to such a phenomenon) until I managed to get my mitts on a real live corpse. Yeah, you heard me right. One night as I was driving home from an average day of pushing papers around, I received a call from an unknown number. I’m not sure what possessed me to answer it. I rarely answer the phone while driving, let alone from strange numbers. I just recall having an inkling that the intention behind that attempted connection was more or less benevolent. Funny thing to hear myself say, but that’s definitely what it felt like. Anyway, I answered the call and put it on speaker, only to hear a sequence of hisses and beeps in an unpredictable pattern of multiple tones. As I attempted to speak with whomever had just contacted me, the call abruptly ended. Weird, I thought, but I didn’t think anything of it. As I was pulling into my garage (I always back in for the sake of convenience when I’m leaving in the morning) I looked over my shoulder and saw a limp body in my backseat, gray and slender. Not from here, you could say. Well, as a man of science, I was immediately overcome with more curiosity than anything. I immediately schlepped it to my house–it was much lighter than I thought it ought to have been–to get my bearings. While clearly not hosting a living being, it would seem that even after an extraplanetary individual has ditched their meat vessel from the previous life, there remains a kind of intact life force within the remains, as though awaiting a new passenger. I had that corpse under around-the-clock surveillance and never once saw a breath enter or leave. Nevertheless, I didn’t detect any of the decay one would find on Earth, and there were still trace electromagnetic signals that confirmed beyond a doubt that these… physical manifestations, for lack of a better term, are perpetuated by a force yet unknown by our primitive race. That anomaly was the catalyst for my lifelong study of the biology of such foreign bodies, to the chagrin of every person in my life who, up until that discovery, had held me in high esteem. Ah well, screw ’em. They’re just afraid of the things they can’t explain.

Irrational

If only the irrational beings on your planet could grasp the true necessity of bureaucracy… those poor, poor mammals with their heads in the clouds, constantly chasing pie-in-the-sky dreams and never settling for pragmatic compromises. The fools who believe in their deepest intellects that art is the greatest contribution to the history of the universe (or creation, whatever they’d happen to call it) are deeply flawed in their logic. With what logic would beauty correspond? There is no rational way to extol the virtues of well-placed paint daubs on a piece of stretched canvas; the beholder is the only source of validation. That kind of subjective viewership is much too volatile for any global civilization if it wishes to thrive in the greater cosmic community. This application must unfortunately be rejected at this juncture. If you would like to try again, you may wait 2,200 Earth years and submit new paperwork at that time. We very much appreciate your interest in becoming a member of Galaxion Gardens, have a nice millennium.

Taking a Bath

You scuff up one iota of my shortbread icon brittlemaker and I swear to god I’ll puke all over the place with rage. That may seem a tad impassioned, but I’ve always been bad at hiding how I feel about futuristic kitchen appliances. Anyway, here’s the kicker on this thing: it makes all kinds of brittles! Myself, I enjoy the wellspring of nostalgic feelings that crop up with each new batch of shortbread icon brittle. Images of Lorna Doone and Shirley Temple flash across my personal confectionery concoction hatch when this baby gets whirring.

I really do get worked up about this marvel of modern technology, and perhaps I need to cool my jets a bit here. I mean, it cost me four grand to get the custom brittle module, so I’m entitled to a little rooftop-shouting, right? Pretty much any flavor combination imaginable can go into the preparation of your brittles. I found my favorite combo and stuck with it because I’m really not that creative. But I swear, you could have hours upon hours of entertainment just from thinking up unconventional themes. Once you’ve made your selection, the whisper-quiet mechanism takes care of all the rest. This thing is perfect for you and the family, your office, an open house, wedding, funeral, holiday party, National Phlebotomists Day… the list goes on.

Sorry, I’ll bet you think I’m coming off like a used car salesman. The god’s honest truth is I’ve been trying to unload it, but nobody’s biting. A mere $2,750 is all I’m asking for it. I mean, it’s a steal at that price! All the components are in pristine condition (I’ve only used it twice). Come on, you know you want to give it a whirl. I guarantee that if you’re not satisfied with your first five batches of custom brittle, I’ll refund all of your hard-earned dollars. Don’t you see I’m taking a bath here, people?! You’d be stupid NOT to take me up on this!

Notch

This here is something new now;
you can set your watch to it, buddy boy.
I have a guaranteed method
for extracting blood from a stone, though
I’d prefer not to if I didn’t have to.

What are you to do when
your life is perpetual lie, led by
any number of personalities at any given time?
You can get more prepared
for the next time you may need assistance,
or you can develop a plan for attack,
take charge of your own blueprints for once!
Go north, young man! Where? To where the air
breathes thinner and you don’t have to
pack your SCUBA gear everywhere you go.

“To the brink of extinction we go,” I tell myself
on the eve of each weekend’s wet dream.
Supernintendo Chalmers can hold a candle
to me bumming around
with the aristocratic whodunnits and whosaidits, see.
Because what else can be said
about this heroic figure
at the end of the day, other than
“he led a sedentary life, not unlike that of a sloth
or lesser carnivorous apeworm”?
I have the change purse emoji all queued up
for my perusal, making no bones
about my time as a brown stork
being misconstrued as an attempt to curry favor
in the minds of our largest benefactors.
I tend to lose my bearings around those of whom
most able to make or break a person’s entire life,
and the scale of such a project
goes into the hundreds or even
thousands of individuals at a time,
unscrupulous, unmanipulated. Pure, cold destruction
of well being for the purpose of adding
a notch or two to the ol’ portfolio.

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