Sunday, April 29, 2012

An Alien at the Bar



If one could use the word "normal" to describe something about my life, it's probably because they have been around me so much that my sickening and overwhelming personality is just another background noise. Now that I have said that, I can tell you that this story begins on a normal, ordinary evening at the bar.

My boyfriend and I were sitting on our preferred side of The Island of Booze, enjoying cold, liquid bread, when we both saw an older gentleman enter and take a seat at the opposite end of the bar. And by "older gentleman," I mean the guy was ancient, okay? Like, the dude should have been dead, ancient.  Sporting a khaki bellhop-shaped hat and an ill-fitting Hawaiian shirt, the guy looked like he had seen enough bad in the world to just plain ol' not give a shit about anything else, such as Hawaiian shirts or young people staring at him from across the bar with expressions of mild curiosity.

"That guy is my hero," said my boyfriend. "I want to buy him a drink."

I completely agreed. The dude looked like he could kill Predator with a Kukri knife and one hand tied behind his back. The drink was ordered, and nothing else was thought of it. We figured that it would be just that, and that the both of us could feel better about acknowledging this old guy's existence.

Five minutes later, after the old guy had played "Lady in Red" on the jukebox, he appeared to our side of the bar to thank us for the drink. He introduced himself as Spotzel, or "Spot" for short. When we shook his hand, we realized that maybe the guy was dead already; his fingers were freezing cold and clammy like old, refrigerated hot dogs sewn to a freezer-burned filet mignon for a palm. It was kind of creepy, to say the least. He didn't just wander back to his beer at the bar, though. Instead, he insisted that he should tell my boyfriend and me that we had "good auras" and that we "stood out" as people. He also called us good people. We thanked him, told him it was nothing, really, no seriously. Finally, the dude left for his side of the bar, and I looked at my boyfriend.

"We stand out, because we're wearing bright colors," I said, making cheap shots at the man's age.

"His hands were freaking cold. Did you feel them?" My boyfriend asked. I nodded and shuddered, saying something about him already being dead while making zombie survival plans in my head. We returned to our beers and decided to forget about our encounter with Spot.

Well, Spot must have really liked us, because he insisted on walking all the way around the bar to talk to us again. He wanted to tell us that we were good people again, thank us for the beer, and tell us that we had "good auras." I smiled my nice-girl smile and thanked him, nodding that I heard it and had nothing more to say. What could I say? Yeah. Auras and...stuff. I couldn't be disrespectful to the guy, but I didn't really want to talk to him either. On a scale measuring social talking abilities, I'm autistic. I just didn't have anything to talk about to him.

"Are you guys aliens?" Old Guy asked.

I about choked on my beer. Did he really just ask that? I really want to tell him yes. 

"No, sir. We aren't aliens," my boyfriend assured Spot, smiling with the expression of what-fuck-did-I-just-hear? all over his face.

"Because you two stand out, and I think you're aliens," Spot insisted. It wasn't an accusatory tone, either. I think he really wanted us to be aliens, so that he could assert his barely received opinion that there just aren't nice people in the world. Or, maybe, he just legitimately believed we were extra terrestrials who decided they wanted to travel the universe and drink at a dive bar. I don't fucking know, like I said, I have lacking social skills.

"Thank you, but we are definitely not aliens," said the boyfriend again. We were stuck; we couldn't turn our backs on Spot and ignore him - we respected him. But this guy was getting weird and sentimental about aliens. He really wanted/thought/knew? we were aliens.

Spot eventually got the idea that we weren't much for talking. "Well, thank you anyway. You two have a good night, and I like your auras," said Spot before returning to his seat and giving us a weird I'll-keep-it-a-secret-that-you're-aliens smile.

I really couldn't say anything about it after that, except that it was kind of weird that some old guy thought we were aliens. I mean, I get the sticking out of the crowd part, because my boyfriend and I were wearing bright clothing, and maybe our "auras" were just from Spot's sight going out in a funky way and causing the illusion of a stronger light refraction, but I really can't explain the alien part, though.

It is unfortunate that this tough, old guy probably did have the opinion that it was so rare to find proof of humanity that in the event it happened, such as just being nice or appreciating someone's existence, it couldn't have been a human being from this time or space. Or, you know, maybe I'm over-analyzing this and he actually thought we were aliens.

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