As I tossed and turned in tangled sheets, I tried not to think of the voice I heard earlier. I tried not to think of it's cryptic, robotic qualities. I tried not wondering...who exactly was whispering through my phone? I had no missed calls, no record(more) of the call at all. Was it a virus? Some sort of hack? Or...
I sat up and looked out the window of my bedroom . Orange streaks from the streetlight outside my apartment filtered through the blinds. On the nightstand, my cell phone's LED light blinked green. Full power.
I took a deep breath, grabbed the phone and shoved it to my ear.
"What do you want, phone?" What a ridiculous question, I thought.
I felt a strange tingling against my cheek, and I pulled the phone away. The phone buzzed.
"Vibrate is turned on. Would you like to change the settings?"
The phone crackled a little...or was that a chuckle?
"Also, I have a speaker function. No need to constantly grease me up against that hormonal face of yours." The phone sighed. "Why is it always greasy teenagers who buy new phones?"
I shrieked. "Why?! What are you?! What is this?!"
The phone sighed. "Calm down Katie. I'm a cell phone. Haven't you owned a cell phone before?"
"B-b-but why are you talking to me?"
"Is that strange? Don't you talk to phones all the time?"
I paused. "No, I talk to people with my..."
The phone interrupted with a loud BEEP. "Yes, and they talk to a phone too. And they use the voice functions to text, and change settings, and ask for directions, and talk to us all the time."
"Now, go to sleep. I set an alarm for 5 a.m. Would you like to change the ringtone?"(less)
We are born alone, and
We die alone
Everything in the middle is pretend
Surrounded by loved ones
Who don’t really love you
Just the moments
(more) They don’t know you
We are all used car salesmen
We sell each other what we
Think the other wants to hear
We search for something higher
To fill us, but there is nothing there
We don’t fill, but
The prisons fill
The projects fill
The graveyards fill
The war machine fills
Your house is huge, and old, and wonderful. It's the product of a time when people didn't think that the world could become crowded. Beautifully painted yellow with white windows, a black iron fence around the yard, and a wooden porch with a roof over-hang. We spent most of(more) last night sitting on the swing there, listening to the rainstorm, and talking.
It's odd because even though you live in a fancy house and wear nice clothes and talk like a man who has had too much education and not enough living, you're heart is as big as that house. You're such a kind man with a ready smile, warm and caring. And you make me feel like maybe love is a possibility in this world.
But the truth of the matter is that you live in a large house and have had money all of your life. I live in a shack with eight other people crammed together. You are giving and loving and I am bitter and greedy. Your smile brings out the best in me, but I know there are things in my past that would stain your pretty carpeting and dirty up your home. Too much making do and doing without. Too much doing in order to not have to do without. You need a lady in a pretty hat with a wide smile, who doesn't have worry lines on her face or dirt on her hands.
So instead of going up to knock on your door like I did yesterday while the rain was washing away the differences in status, I just stand here outside the gate in my worn hand-me-down clothes and stare at the house, wishing things were different and that I could run to you without ruining the picturesque scene.(less)
Louis had a bit of time before the train came, so he figured it was best to sit in his car and stare off into the distance. Was he thinking? Was he conscious by any attempt of definition? Certainly. Was he here? Not quite. Imagination had brought Louis back(more) in time, when he was still at the farm. A woman in a pink blouse smiled as she poured orange juice into Louis' glass. A poor citrus season left the young couple having to use Minute Maid instead of fresh.
Louis was alone and tired of being alone, but the damage caused by the accident left him with no choice but to hide. Joey had roughed up Rebecca and Louis tried to protect her honor. Things were crazy. Shots were fired. Joey was killed. The whole thing got Louis into a heap a' shit and now he was making a run for it.
2 months of life on the road had left Louis stoic. Having neither a cell phone or a recognizable face, Louis' interactions with other humans were limited to simple yes' and no's as he checked into and out of crappy motels on the interstate. He came with little identity and left very little trace as he traveled to the deep south. Each day ended with a mental argument over whether or not he should give up running. So far he's decided to continue, but each day the thought of prison being "kind of nice" seemed easier and easier.
The huff of the incoming train stirred Louis back to the present. Louis left the car spotless with no discernible evidence against him inside. Not even under the seats.
Louis grimaced as he approached the turnstile knowing entirely that he did not know what would happen when he reached Guadalajara.
"Oops, sorry... This place is so fucking dark!"
(more) "Don't talk so loud! Do you want us to be found?!"
"Alright, alright... No need to stress out."
"...Are we alone?"
"Yeah, I guess. At least I didn't hear or see anyone."
"Perfect. Help me open the door."
A sharp click was heard and, next, the creak of the door. They slowly walked in and closed the door as gently as possible. The room, like the street, was completely dark. They took the flashlights from their backpacks and turned them on.
"Ok, now we must inspect the area and make sure we aren't going to get caught. Any ideas, June?"
"According to the map, there aren't any cameras here and in the hallway, but there are a bunch of them in the living room, the kitchen, the bedrooms and the other main divisions."
"I bet the safe is especially protected, no?"
"Yup. Lasers, cameras, heat detectors, pressure plates... The place looks like a set for an action spy movie."
"... Kinda makes me wish we had prepared..."
"Kinda? Seriously? This is all your fault! You always want to do things in the moment, without planing things out. You have to understand: if you want to rob big fortunes and shit, you ALWAYS have to plan. EVERY SINGLE DETAIL!"
"But... I thought you liked it..."
"Marc, I love you. You're my big brother and I know I can always count on you. The problem is that you're a blockhead. Yes, I always liked the fact that you were the spontaneous one, but there are times and places where you need to plan! I don't want to go to jail!"
June stormed out of the house. Marc heard a cough behind him.
My mind spirals off into the stars, into ten thousand million possibilities. Galaxies upon galaxies, universes forming and expanding, wormholes portals through the very fabric of space and time.
When I think of earth, a tiny blue dot next to an even tinier sun in the cosmic scale(more) of things, I think of loneliness. To our limited knowledge, we are alone. A pocket of life, of humanity, consciousness, feeling and fact and fiction...All alone in this vast universe. Pushing the frontiers of the lifeless, a beating heart in the midst of all this dark matter.
I don't think that we're alone out there. That somewhere out there is a being--that can breathe fire, or destroy matter, or breathes through the pores in their skin. A being that is alien to us, but to them, they are IT. They are lonely beings on their own planet next to their own sun, thinking of a thousand-million other planets out there, evolutionary cycles starting or ending or somewhere in the middle, asking the great cosmic question:
ARE WE ALONE?
Or maybe somewhere there is a society of mind-reading geniuses that have mapped the universes on the backs of their hands. They see us, they know us, they have been here and orbited our planet, their great thinkers and scientists positing questions about our society--
What is the meaning of different ethnicities? How did they come about?
Why is their ozone layer disentegrating? Harmful bacteria?
To them, these hesitant life forms, alien is not a short green-skinned man with a death ray and speaking gobbledegook. No, to them, alien is a woman talking on her cell phone (is that how they communicate?), going to work at an office (why do they lock themselves in cubicles?), and another world they can't hope to understand.(less)
"Are we alone?" he asked as he gazed into the night sky.
"You talking to me?" another voice came back from the bushes. They rustled about, and then Tom emerged from the woods, zipping up the last leg of his zipper in the process.
"No one else is o(more)ut here. Who else would I be talking to?" Eddie said without diverting his gaze to the stars. They had been friends forever.
"Doesn't that answer your question?"
"No," Eddie took his hands out of his pockets, "not out here—we're definitely alone out here." He pointed to the sky and with a touch of wonder to his voice said, "Up there."
And then it hit. With a fierce blow of gale force winds, something landed, and knocked them both to the ground. Lights torched their eyes. eyes that had finally adapted to the midnight blanket. A whirling, like that of a tuned up bicycle, flooded their ears and disoriented them further. And just as it all started to register, it all turned off.
Their eyes could now only see orange and white afterglows, hovering like apparitions over an eternal darkness. Their ears did not ring, but rather, felt clogged with air.
Reality started to slowly fade back in. Their senses checked back in.
Tom looked over at Eddie, who was rubbing his eyes in awe.
"Doesn't that answer your question?" (less)