Nobody Cares About Aliens
Floating about 500 ft in the air was an enormous purple-silver UFO. The pancake shaped thing looked like it had popped straight out of a 50’s B movie. The Summer sun danced across its chrome surface in an array of brilliance. It was straight out of my fantasies.
Since I was a kid I’ve been obsessed with UFO’s. I absorbed hundreds of books and documentaries on the mysterious lights in the sky. I studied events like Roswell and the Phoenix lights like a historian studies World War 2. But my odd obsession ostracized me. Years of being mocked and laughed at slowly chipped away at my belief in aliens and I began to believe my dream would never come true. But as I looked up at the bizarre ship flying above me, all the memories and dreams of flying saucers came flooding back into me. A single tear of joy trickled down my cheek.
However the emotional moment was blown away by the sound of a symphony of car horns reminding me that I had stopped in the middle of the highway during rush hour. I gave a little wave of apology and quickly pulled out onto the nearest exit. I parked in a nearby gas station lot and got out of my car to gaze upon the craft in peace.
However my attention was only on the dish for a moment before I realized that I was the only one ogling at the alien craft. No other cars had pulled over to have a gander nor were there any pedestrians mindlessly looking upwards. Everyone around me seemed to be acting like it was a perfectly normal Tuesday.
Didn’t anyone see the god damned flying saucer?! This is supposed to be the moment in the movie when everyone in the world stops what they’re doing simultaneously and slowly gazzes towards the sky. I mean, didn’t these people realize how these things are supposed to go? Were they fucking blind?
Then a thought occurred to me, perhaps they were blind. I remembered an old legend about the Natives who witnessed the first Spanish ships touching the New World. The story went that the giant European freight ships were so foreign to the native people that their brains simply refused to see them and they became invisible. What if the alien craft was so foreign to us that most people simply couldn’t comprehend it. Perhaps the only reason my mind was able to handle it was because I had fantasized about alien ships for so long.
My spirit perked up and a new mission came to me. I decided that if people couldn’t comprehend the magnificent thing that had appeared before them then it was my job to make them see, one person at a time. So, with new purpose, I marched towards the convenience store and swung both doors open.
The store was empty save for a lone clerk. He was a skinny pale kid with a scraggly goatee and his head buried in his phone. I cleared my throat and with great gusto said, “Uh, hey!” The clerk looked up at me with grey baggy eyes. “ There’s a UFO — ”
“Oh, the UFO? Yeah I saw it. It was cool I guess.” He said apathetically before sinking his head back into his phone.
I blinked in befuddlement. He already saw it? I studered my words to try and come up with a response, but before I could I was pushed from behind by a big fat woman with a pixie haircut coming into the store. She rasped out an, “Excuse me,” as she passed by.
I tensed up and quietly apologized before awkwardly shuffling closer to the clerk. “Uh, if you’ve seen the UFO then why are you still here?”
Without looking up from his phone the clerk said, “What do you mean? I have a shift today.”
“B…but there’s a UFO.”
The clerk looked up and squinted at me. “So? Is the UFO gonna pay my god damned bills?”
I was taken aback by this and had no response for the kid. I just stared at him like a deer in headlights, and I probably would have continued to stare at him like this if it weren’t for a familiar voice that came from behind. “Excuse me!” I turned to find the fat woman with the pixie-cut holding an extra large big gulp and tapping her foot. “Are you finished? Some of us have places to be.”
I once again apologized to the large broad and scuttled out of the store in embarrassment. It dawned on me that everyone was perfectly capable of seeing the saucer; it was just that they didn’t give a shit. Well to hell with them, I thought as I made my way back to my car. I had been obsessed with UFOs since I was a kid and just because nobody else cared didn’t mean I was just going to ignore this historical moment. I plopped down on the hood of my Toyota Camry, buried my chin in my hands, and looked out at the wondrous object.
The craft hovered in the air and slowly (very slowly) rotated. It rotated in the exact same spot, not even wavering from it for a second. I watched it for a few moments before my wide smile slowly faded into a neutral expression. I dipped my head back and yawned. Without anyone to share the experience with, it was a little boring. While the ship wasn’t doing anything of interest, I decided I might as well go to work.
When I arrived at the office my boss was waiting at the punch in clock. She was a middle aged woman with bleached hair and one of those barbie smiles plastered permanently on her face. I looked at her, expecting her to say something. She looked at me, darted her eyes towards the clock, and then back at me. I hesitantly picked up my card and punched in. As soon as the machine made a “click” sound she said, “this is the third time you’ve been late this month.”
“Yeah I know, I’m sorry. It’s just that I was distracted by the UFO this morning — ”
“Ooh, I’m sorry but unfortunately that does not qualify as a valid excuse for you to miss your duties. As I’ve explained to you previously, the only incidents our company accepts as valid absences are medical emergencies.”
“You’re right, I’m sorry. I — ”
“I’m afraid we are going to have to add a strike to your record. One more of those and we may be forced to terminate your employment, and I’m sure you don’t want that.”
Too afraid to speak, I simply nodded. The boss studied me for a moment before briskly returning to her office. I hung my head and sulked off to my own little cubicle. While I waited for my desktop to boot up, I looked out the window. Out on the horizon I could see the UFO still floating in the same spot. I sighed and closed the blinds.