I met a wino from outer space.... really. part 1 (edit - delete)
by Scott Ridgway
Who believes a guy like me? No one. I ask for change for food and they think I need booze. Everyone is suspicious of a bum looking dude who smells. I don't do much to get them over thier fears of course, since I no longer care what people think of me. I need to drink, sleep, eat when I get to puking too much to drink.
Writing any of this down even seems stupid, There isn't anything else I can do, though. I got the paper for free, old computer paper stained on the corner with what looks like coffee that I pulled out of a dumpster in lower wacker, the under-road that runs beneath the streets of downtown chicago and harbors those of us who are too far out there to live any place but the streets, jails and hospitals.
My breathing grows worse everyday, the dt's or the lack of breath will take me soon, some cold night as I croach over a heater duct, tucked in a dark corner of lower wacker where the cops will probably notice me a few days after the rats.
Try looking and smelling and living like a wino and being the only person on earth who has spoken to an alein... at least at length. I know secrets people all over the world would kill for, and I'm not even sure that I want to use them. They could save me, and others, I suppose, but I don't know why... the drink takes all my time, trying to keep the emotions running wild inside of me dull and at ease is about all I have time for -- well, that and getting together the change for a buzz and bite to eat every few days.
I wish I could say thta my life wasn't always a drunken mess, that some crises drove me down into this circle of hell . . . but no, I just liked to party more than I liked to work, and somehow muddled along that way, eating at soup kitchens and doing just about whatever it took to find the time to drink around the clock. Long after everyone I knew had checking accounts and apartments and women and kids, I was still the hard core guy who would whip out the weed and snort at parties, call the hookers...
I never noticed I was on a slippery slope until I was mired in the muck at the bottom, holes in my shows and the tread long wore off, leaving me old and ugly and smelly and pathetic enough to pull the heart strings required to obtain a few pennies from the crowds passing trhough downton chicago...
I lied in the title. I am not a wino from outer space. I did however meet a creature from far out in the distant stars, too far away for our microscopes and time limitations. He was dying. Something about the air that he explained to me once while we were drinking and I think I was thinking of something else or just spacing on the music... I didn't listen to him half the time... he was one of those guys who talks so much that sometimes you have to take a break and think about other things. No one would believe him either. He had come here in the form of an Elder, basing his research on outdated tv shows and sit that they could recieve out on the scientific research center -- an artificial satallite, where his crew had been monitoring human activity. There was a mechanical problem, his crew died, and there he was, waiting out his last few years ina flop house. He used to pay me to go out and get dr. pepper and thunderbird, which he lived on. He really did, too, which was the first indication to me that he was different, of course.
He didn't tell me his history until I discovered it on my own, after he had some kind of fever and babbled on for a week just before he died. He became normal somehow for the last day, after taking some pills he had, and that was when he decided that though I was hardly his choice, he was going to hope against hope that I could do something...
He had tried to contact the authorities a year before and ended up spending three weeks in a psych ward, where he was beaten and subjected to the drugs which set off the disease that was killing him -- or so he claimed, and he did sound like a doctor.
He had a face that looked like everything in his sinfilled life was etched on his pale, wrinkled face. Watery blue and red eyes, the deep lines of summers spent lazing on benches bumming smokes and change. According to his cultural norms, he was entering an elder one, who would be the most respected in the society. Ha.
During his last few days, he was liked hyped by the fever and mellowed by the vodka, and actually seemed a little relieved to be getting out of a mission he said he hated from the bginning. He seemed to become someone else, like a youthful rebel came bursting out of him, some idealistic kid swinging a protest poster or something. He said he had a device that could make anyone disappear, and that his team had planned on selectively culling the field; the device also gives something like immortality, as well as being something or a orgasm ray and other things that he explained to me in way more detailed than I could listen to while smoking weed and drinking dr peopper and vodka.
The plan, from what I could gather of it, was simply to shift the leadership of the planet to a more ecofreindly, less materialist culture.
it is hard to write drunk, so forgive me, alright? Not to mention I am sitting under a viaduct and the wind, as always, is trying to snatch all of my words and blow them out into the unheard nothingness.
You could see a slight blue tint to his skin, and light yellow green twinge to his neck. He was so old you just kind of assumed that he was the victim of some drink and drug ravaging or another.
Me, I knew better. I had been watching for signs of aleins most of my life, on and off. I had read enough books, during rainy afternoons in the public libraries where I took refuge in a study of all things other-worldy that might land here. Not being a mark, as the carnies say, I never found the kindof evidence that answered the question. My curiosity never died, though, and frequent forays into science fiction books and tv programs watched in dusty rec rooms in treatment centers and flop houses and all the shitty places ny drunken, horny chimp led me into.
. I was the only one who ever believed him. Like I think I wrote, the cops just picked up a wino with delusions, took him to a psyche ward, and they eventually released him to our flop house. A bunch of dividers in what used to an elks hall. Chicken wire roofs. You could smell everyone's socks and worse at all times, of course. Not that I minded so much when I was totally drunk. Who would? You could see a slight blue tint to his skin, and light yellow green twinge to his neck. He was so old you just kind of assumed that he was the victim of some drink and drug ravaging or another. Me, I knew better. I had been watching for signs of aleins most of my life, on and off. I had read enough books, during rainy afternoons in the public libraries where I took refuge in a study of all things other-worldy that might land here. Not being a mark, as the carnies say, I never found the kind of evidence that answered the question. My curiosity never died, though, and frequent forays into science fiction books and tv programs watched in dusty rec rooms in treatment centers and flop houses and all the shitty places ny drunken, horny chimp led me into.
He had come here in the form of an Elder, on a scientific research mission; where his crew had been monitoring human activity and were going to help us to correct some planet wide problems that were threatening to destroy the ecosphere. Harv said this about it once, â€œSomething fucking went wrong, once we were in the area we should have sensed soul activity, found the ethereal beings we expected to use to approach humansâ€¦. Jesus, fucking christ deep fried and on a stick and dipped in chocolate, who the hell would have believed that you havenâ€™t even developed souls.â€�
Harvâ€™s big regret,of course, of course, was ending up in a soulless creatureâ€¦ according to him, most creatures have something like a soul that continues on after death, but humans have not yet developed an after life yet, because our ghosts held no love for their experiences with life. He really regretted not hopping into a dog or a cat, let me tell ya, who he claimed were off to explore the universe for good times and planets conducive to lots of napping. He even tried to get me to feed him to the half starved cats in the alley when he died. I just kind of ignored that shit when he said it, like a lot of the weirder proclamations to come out of his toothless mouth.
His lack of teeth made his chin appear almost directly under his nose, giving him a comical look, even when he was telling me, in his raspy, smoke charred voice, â€œI donâ€™t what the hell is killing me, but since I am stuck in one of your sorry asses, I am going to never go home. You fucking humans. You really, really, really have your heads up your asses.â€�
He was bitter like that all the time, which I find funny and kind of soothing. He is the only person I've met who hates humans more than me. I didn't even care when he dissed me particularly, as long as he let me share his dr pepper and smoke his weed and drink the vodka out of his bongs. I mean, hell, plenty of afternoons I got enough change in my beat up paper cup from the passing suites downtown to get a bottle and just go up to his room and sit around, get drunk and eat his cold meat and bread. He bought it just for me, because I did his shopping. He existed, entirely, no shit, oin Dr. Pepper and Stolyâ€™s vodka. They were the only human consumables he really liked, and he said that since he was infinite anyways now, he might as well do whatever the hell he wanted.
I guess before I ramble on too long about all the negative shit about the wino from outer space, let me also say that he was a funny guy at times, and generous to a fault. He just hated humans for being soul-less, which he considered a horrifying evolutionary error worse than any he had seen in his travels â€“ which, if his often repeated stories can be trusted, were far and wide across the forever expanse of stars. He was one of those guys who talks so much that sometimes you have to take a break and think about other things. He had no luck on earth with the authorities, of course, who he believed would be interested in some of the technology he brought with him, because he had no idea who effect he would have on the world in the wrecked body of a wino that was way too addicted to drink for a weak willed, depressed alien to ever change. Whoeverâ€™s body he boarded is a mystery, by the wayâ€¦ but the Alien Harv, sure as hell chose one drunkard just a few stumbles away from falling off that last cliff; ending up frozen or baked in some corner of Chicago, shocking little kids and making the neighbors go on tv and say the required sentences of grief and shock.
So this is the story about how harv and me changed some shit around town to make a fw peoples lives easier. Not that I am some super hero or anything. Harv would have liked to have been, I think, but the blow to his psych from suddenly becoming infinite was way too much for him. "The Possibility, Macky, the possibilities... that's what I regret missing out on. I miss the fucking shit I will never see. With your pea brain, this probably makes about as much sense.... drink up, drink up."
Okay, so when the wino from outer space died, I took the secret device he had hidden under his bed, the heaven ray he liked to call it, and drank down every bit that was left. Old harv left me almost half a gallon of the stupid.