I met the alien at a little sidewalk café in the West Village. He spoke to me telepathically one day while I was walking to the subway and told me to meet him there at a certain time. When I arrived, there he was, smoking Marlboro Lights.
The reds give me a headache, he said.
I didn’t think aliens got headaches, I said.
We get everything you get, he said—headaches, cancer, constipation, New Years Eve blues…You’re looking at me like I’m some kind of an alien from outer space. He was smiling.
Where are you from?
I’m from Spain, he said, up in the Basque region.
How did you get into my head?
How does anybody get into anybody’s head?
You don’t know?
You’ve heard other voices, haven’t you?
No one’s ever appeared in person.
You have a portal.
We can get through.
Yes, that’s how I got here, through your portal.
Are you here permanently?
No, I have to go back.
No, that was temporary. I was talking to someone there.
Someone like me?
What was his problem?
The alien/earthling privilege?
Yes, your lawyer training comes in handy. No one would speak freely to me if they thought it would be publicized.
So you know I’m a lawyer.
Yes. And in trouble.
I didn’t steal that money.
Yes you did.
I heard that. Remember, our first conversation was telepathic.
Okay, so why did you want to meet me?
I can help you solve your problem.
Pay the money back, then turn in your license. The practice of law is killing you.
I don’t have the money.
Don’t worry, I can do a portal transfer into your bank account.
What’s the catch?
You come to work for me.
Letting others like me in through your portal.
I didn’t answer. I was nervous.
It didn’t hurt, did it? he asked.
You didn’t even know it was happening.
So what’s the problem?
I have to make a living.
You’ll get paid.
Really? How much?
A hundred thousand retainer, plus ten thousand per entry, into an account in the Caymans.
Why the Caymans?
They don’t ask any questions there.
Can I quit?
No, it’s forever.
Until I die?
What happens then?
No one knows what happens after people die.
What if your alien friends cause trouble?
They’re disciplined, but I can’t say it doesn’t happen. We have pressure too.
I’m not sure.
Okay, we’ll keep talking. I’ve got your number.
Ha ha. Can I contact you?
No, that’s not possible. If we make a deal, then I’ll show you how it’s done.
If the bar association were to hear this conversation, they’d definitely think I was insane.
You’re not though.
Like I said, I can help.
I nodded again.
By the way, if you see me on the street, ignore me. That’s a rule.
You can work from home. That’s a perk.
I figured that.
Any other questions?
I’ll want a written contract.
I’ll check with the boss.
That I can’t tell you.
I didn’t think so.
* * *
He didn’t fool me, the alien. My soul was on the line. I met him a few more times, then turned him down. We parted as friends. The money I stole I gave to my brother, who was developing an app. I didn’t know too much about apps at the time, but I love my brother like a brother, so I stole the money from a rich client and gave it to him. Family comes first. The app was to enable people to talk telepathically. You need an implant in your temple and of course an iPhone, but it has become phenomenally big. My brother paid me back just in time for me to pay back the client and avoid going to jail. It was a lot of money so I did get disbarred, but that’s okay, the practice of law was killing me.
Now I’m vice-president of my brother’s company. He’s working on a portal app now, which was my idea. If it hits, it will the biggest thing ever.
Can you imagine?
About Project 52/2015: I like to take pictures and I like to write fiction. This Blog will combine the two in what I am calling Project 52/2015, one of my images mated with a piece of very short fiction each week in 2015. Enjoy.