He clutches the padding to his body as if in waiting for a baseball to sore through the air to hit him square in the chest.
But when he opens his eyes and sees it is just the aliens dancing on the sidewalk, he eases up a bit. Some things never change. It seems to him a daily parade of the mundane and the ridiculous mesh together in a dance so sublime only a drunk, like himself, sees it.
It’s his show, day after day. An old poster of a band, from long ago, reminds him that he has a wall all his own. In the other world, people go to work, come home to families, watch TV all night, and slip off to sleep, only to wake and repeat the same process day after day after day. Life isn’t meant to be a single stream of sameness in his opinion.
His memory holds the image of suited people surrounding him, while he lay on the floor. Their faces elongating and morphing into haunting images and the sounds echoed and blared loudly telling him he didn’t fit in, he wasn’t positive enough and had no business sense and why was he on the floor, anyway? But it was a long time ago.
The ones around him oblivious as they toiled away sitting within a sea of boxes, 4×4 foot square rooms, one after another. They never noticed if he went missing from work for a day or two, or longer. They were more concerned with their boring problems, such as who to date, why hasn’t this guy or woman called, will there be raises this year or what’s to eat in the cafeteria? He didn’t care about who was going to what party, who would be there, what can they do for me?
It was an endless circle of connections to which he lacked the analytical skills to break into. A politics of people that left him cowering in corners. He would never be promoted.
No need to worry about that anymore. He watches the aliens. They live without responsibility. Far from home, family, friends, all sense of accountability is removable, which allows one to live the way one wants to live without anyone or anything creating detours.
As he stood in self-isolation, purposeful in his conviction that no one could mess with him. No one would bother him about his wrinkled suits or unshiny shoes. Nobody can bother him about his hair style or that his cologne smells bad (whatever that last batch was from the Walgreen’s dumpster was probably generic). He lives the way he wants to, completely, without criticism from family or friends with words that he’s too fat, drinks too much, too short, nose too big, too sensitive… there is always something.
The aliens like to play music on the accordion and dance to it. So carefree… so without thought of action or purpose. He envies them, even in his state of oneness with the universe. But he thought, if ever they decide to hate the music and toss the accordion at him, he has the padding to protect him. Just in case.