Of late, I've begun to have serious doubts about myself. The closer I look, the weirder I appear to be. I'm not talking about the occasional pimple or my tendency to grow hair from unusual places; in that respect I'm no different than your average ugly man. I'm referring to what lies within. My inner self, if you will. Various questions have popped into my head, and, probably liking the roominess in there, refuse to pop back out again. Who am I? Where have I come from? I don't mean in the overall sense of 'where did life originate?' or 'what is our purpose here?' I know the answers to those! (But I promised someone I wouldn't tell, so…) My problem is that I don't think I'm a human being. This suspicion didn't stem from my discovering a slimy green tentacle poking out from someplace; I have much better reasons than that. My first clue came when I compared myself to people around me. Now as a rule, I don't do that. I find it futile and petty, and a waste of time. But on this occasion, the exercise was forced upon me by a friend who, in a moment of disgust and possibly insight exclaimed, "John, why can't you just be normal like other people?" I was about to dispute her basic assumption of other people's normality, but I saw her point. She was saying that I was different, a misfit, and I was determined to find out why! I began to grill her on how I compared to the general public, my pros and cons, my pluses and minuses. Rate my oddity on a scale on 1-100 and so on. She looked at me with apologetic eyes and said, "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to worry you!" 9 seconds). My brain just has no storage facility for memories or past experiences. In fact my memory is worse than that of…oh, I already said that. See what I mean! Here's a typical conversation: In class, English lecture, around 9:40 a.m.
"Worry? Who's worried?" I responded, wondering what she meant. And that's when it hit me. I don't worry! I doubt I've ever really sat down and worried in my life! What about the time I knew I was going to fail my exams in college? I remember hoping that somehow I'd pass, but no worrying. What about the day I lost a friend's wallet, ID cards, money and tickets to the Michael Jackson concert all at once? I wondered what he'd use to murder me, but I wasn't worried about it. There more I thought about it, the more bewildered I became. I tried a couple of other emotions. Jealousy? Nope, not really. Cowardice? Can't think of much I'm afraid of. Bravery? Nah, not even that! Resentfulness? Morbid suspicion? I was getting really freaked out now! Fanaticism? Insecurity? Inner serenity? Nothing! "John," I told myself, "You are one boring human being!" And then, slow as a moon rising on the planet of Beenere B4 in the Nostraw Galaxy, the doubts began to creep in. What if I wasn't human at all? I thought about it some more. Being un-human (as opposed to inhuman), might explain a lot. My dancing, for example. I don't mean some sort of complicated break-dancing or Flamenco; I'm talking of your regular jerk-your-body-around-to-the-beat kind of dance. I'll be on the dance floor, trying to get some kind of coordination going. "Come on, guys! All to the left!" I'll say, addressing my limbs. "Good, now everyone to the right. Now left again for variety!" At this point my right leg will decide to assert its individuality and move off to the right, resulting in my doing a surprised and painful split. Or sometimes I'll be doing some kind of fancy step when my elbow, who's been quietly watching someone else on the dance floor, will suddenly take offence and hit them in the eye. In my haste to apologize, I'll forget to stop moving and my other elbow, keen to join the action, will proceed to ram somebody else in the face. In the chaos that follows, I'll manage to wrap my legs around each other, tie my arms in a knot, and step on my own head, in that order. Now that I analyze it, my ineptitude is probably due to the fact that this isn't my normal body. Imagine trying to do a cartwheel inside a caterpillar's body. Sigh! No one understands us aliens. Another convincing factor in my reasoning is the fact that I have a memory span shorter than that of a forgetful goldfish, (i
Teacher: …and now for some questions. John, stand up!
Me: (humming) Da da dee da!
Me: Huh? Oh, wait, that's me! Yes sir?
Teacher: Sir? Sir? I'm Mrs. Malhotra!
Me: Oh yeah, sorry, I forgot. The mustache threw me off!
Teacher: I'll throw you out if you don't shape up. Now tell me, who is Hamlet?
Me: (Having totally forgotten, look around the class for a Hamlet-type person) Him! It's him! That guy with the sly look!
Teacher: Huh? What nonsense! I'll ask you again, who is Hamlet?
Me: (Memory wiped clean again, look around for Hamlet-type person) Him! That guy over there, the one with the sly look!
Teacher: OK! Never mind! Tell me, who killed the King?
Me: It wasn't me, I swear it! I think it was him (pointing)! I don't know his name but he's got a really sly look!
Teacher: That's it, leave the class, John!
Me: (humming) Da da dee dum!
Teacher: You! I'm talking to you! Get out!
Me: (startled) Y-y-yes, sir!
Obviously my brain was not meant to be cluttered with useless memories. On my planet, we probably need the space for galactic calculus or interplanetary algebra. None of this wimpy 'what was I wearing on my 11th birthday' kind of junk. And I bet we're better looking than you humans are too! I mean, come on! Take your ears for example. Have you ever seen anything uglier? And if one wasn't bad enough, you have two! There's no escaping them whichever side of the body you approach from! I can't wait to get out of this cheap body and back into some quality skin!
Now that I'm pretty sure I'm not from this world, I should have see if my 'parents' have any idea where I came from. I bet they stole me from some Royal Space Cruiser when they were out moonlighting as space pirates. I'd never really believed the whole respectable engineer' act of my dad's, and my mother seemed to know just a bit too much about planetary formation. So, until I can return to my home planet, I'm going to waste Earth's natural resources, shamelessly pollute the environment and fight with everyone around me just because they're different. Oh, wait. I may be human after all!