"It's been a year and I'm not sure it's helping," the alien thinks. She sighs, takes a sip of water, and absentmindedly scratches a mosquito bite on her thigh.
The alien was sent on her mission just over 33 years ago but she's been having some difficulty sorting out all the information she's taken in.
And so, one year ago today, she decided to try a blog.
Many times since her mission started, she's wanted to give up. Can you blame her? She doesn't know why she's here. All she knows is that she was sent here and she's staying until she's learned what she needs to learn.
But the alien is painfully lonely. It's not as if she hasn't made an effort. Just the other day, she was out trying to learn more about the humans. She went to the pub and drank the beer and tried to fit in. When the females talked about giving birth and about what body parts they would fix if they could and about weddings and shopping and shopping for weddings, she sipped and smiled. When the males talked about renovations and the money market and which women wanted to sleep with them, she smiled and sipped. When Male 1 hinted that Male 2 didn't like women - that he liked men - and everybody laughed and Male 2 got angry, the alien really tried to see why that was funny. When everybody started talking about which golf courses were the best, she pictured herself...no. The alien will never understand golf.
As much as the she would like to give up on this whole mission, she knows she can't. She would miss beer. She would miss music. She would miss the smell of rain and the sound of wind blowing in the trees and the way ducks stick their bums in the air when they bob under the water for food.
The alien feels something brush against her ankle and she looks down. "How could I forget?" she says, scratching the cat behind its ear. She watches Lucy - dear, cute, annoying Lucy - stalk and kill a mosquito and knows she would miss her cat dearly.
She would miss the human family that took her in all those years ago. They are the best, kindest, most loving people she's encountered on the planet. In her years approximating a human, she's made many mistakes. She's modeled herself after some rotten examples. She's been mean, deceitful, ugly. They've forgiven her.
If she quit now, she'd never again see the beauty that is out there. She can't really remember what home looks like but she knows it's not beautiful like this. It can't be.
"Home. There's a funny word," the alien thinks. What is home? Where is home? She doesn't feel like she belongs here among the humans, but she's never really known anywhere else. She's studied humans to try and understand them but she feels so completely alone. The humans notice things she doesn't. They look at a person and notice her eyes are too close together, that her pores are too large, that her lips are too thin. They notice her pants aren't the right colour or shape and neither is her body. Try as she might, the alien doesn't see these things.
The humans have different values, too. The alien knows that money is important and that she needs it to sleep in her apartment and eat strawberries and sushi and chocolate (all excellent inventions), but she doesn't understand why the humans always want more and more and more of it. And some of them aren't happy with more, either - they want it without having to work for it. They want fame to go along with their fortune and...she just doesn't get any of it.
Everyone is so ambitious and dissatisfied and they're missing the best part of being human. They're missing each other. Not everyone and not always, but still, they miss connecting. The alien gets up and paces. She's done it a few times - she's made that connection - and each time it's been magical. There's that second she looks into someone's eyes and she can see the naked light that is who they really are, and she knows everything is going to be just fine.
The alien has discovered over the past year with her blog that you can even make that connection over the internet with people and eyes you can't see, and it's given her a bit of hope. No, the alien will not give up, despite her loneliness.
"There are too many things I would miss," she tells Lucy. Lucy purrs in agreement. "Sure could do without the mosquitos, though. Fuckers."
* From Howards End by E.M. Forster