Dear Oprah 4,
Weeks have gone by since my transmission to the ISA Council on human activity and still no word on whether I may continue my research on planet Earth or will be forced to go to Space Prison, a gloomy fate for which I am not cut out one bit.
As my journal, you obviously already know all my important thoughts and feelings on Space Prison. I’m way too eager to please to ever make it in the clink! I’ll fall in with the wrong crowd, have to go through some horrible initiation process, finally start to build trust among my fellow convicts, and then get shivved in the end anyway for accidentally betraying my gang leader, all because I wanted one of the other gang leaders to like me.
This is just one example of how my inevitable prison slaughter might go down.
Because the outcome of my transmission is still unknown for some stupid reason, my nerves are frayed to the max. I am unable to go into full sleep mode. I can’t think about anything else. Will all the hard work I did preparing for my presentation pay off? Will I get to stay here on Earth, where I have spent years learning to fit in among my human subjects? Where I’ve made the best of my unfortunate and most unjust exile? Where they make tacos?! Because trust me, Oprah, if you were an alien who found a planet that made tacos you’d want to stay too. But you’re a journal, and you have no mouth parts, so I don’t really expect you to understand.
I keep going over and over it in my mind. Should I have sent a thank-you note? A fruit basket filled with delightful Earth fruits some of which have been partially dipped in chocolate? Did I come across confident? Knowledgeable? Likeable? I tried my best on all accounts.
But… what if my best wasn’t good enough?
What if I just flat-out missed the mark? It doesn’t matter, it’s over, just move forward. But like… DID THEY LIKE IT? I mean, they seemed to take me seriously; nobody yelled at me like the last time. But liiiiike… nobody asked any questions either. Were they not interested, or what? DAMN THEM for keeping me in suspense! I HATE them so! No, I’m don’t hate them, I get it, these things take time. NO, THEY DON’T, it takes like ONE SECOND to make a decision, it’s been like 80 BILLION SECONDS! I’m sure they’re not doing this on purpose to prolong my anxiety BECAUSE THAT WOULD BE A REALLY DICK MOVE, and I want to believe they’re not dicks. They’re not dicks and they’re totally going to let me stay. They have to! That transmission was a game-changer. Truly my finest work. If they don’t appreciate my talents then I don’t even wanna work with these fools anyway, I’ll go to prison on principle. GO AHEAD AND SEND ME TO SPACE JAIL, DICKS, I’ll hack it somehow.
All of this turmoil is giving me a painful hole in the lining of my stomach. Only the delicious fermented grape juice helps, and even that is just a temporary distraction from my feelings of misery!
Oh Oprah! What does one do when faced with such terrifying uncertainty?! I love the Earth! It is so beautiful and weird! My experiences working undercover for the Council have opened my eyes to so much I never knew before, and given new meaning to the life I will one day return to beyond this solar system. I feel, at times, like I am truly part of something. I really, really want to stay.
This incessant torturing myself is getting me nowhere, Oprah. With no signal to guide me through the Council’s darkening fog of silence, I have no other recourse than to keep my head down and stay focused on the job that I was sent here to do: spying on humans, then writing that shit down before I forget it. Amping up my research even more. Planning my next experiment. Continuing to work harder than ever before. Since I haven’t heard otherwise, I’ll assume it’s business as usual. Because what if The Council is watching me somehow? I would not want them to catch me slacking off, even for a second. Seeing me hustle will endear me to them. They will respect my golden work ethic, and eventually come to love me more than they love their own offspring.
It all comes down to this, Op: I can’t possibly control this situation, I just know that time will eventually resolve it. So I’m going to keep on trying to believe that the outcome I’m hoping for is still possible. I won’t let myself curl up into a ball and die just because of the very real possiblity that my next taco could be my last.
Or maybe, just maybe, my fate is to go to Space Prison after all, where everything sucks and is horrible at first, until I gradually build enough street cred to start the first-ever prison taco-making club with some fellow inmates, which, if there are enough of us psyched to make tacos they have to let us do, because morale, and then it turns into a lucrative prison-taco business, and we’ll call it Tacos in Space, because tacos have never been done in space before, and then it gets bought by Trader Yoda’s for a nice chunk of change, and then a portion of the profits goes to the Taco-makers that are still in prison makin tacos, so they can get a fresh start when they get out, and I’ll be so rich as the creator of Tacos in Space that when I’m done serving my sentence I’ll spend the next chapter of my life quietly luxuriating beneath the methane waterfalls of Riga 6, completely alone except for my handsome assistant, well-known human Channing Tatum.
Either way I will, as the humans say, make lemonade. Which pairs nicely with tacos.
Until next time,
L is a space alien conducting research on human behavior for an organization of highly secretive intergalactic watchdogs while trying to be cool about things and blend in with her surroundings. On Earth she greatly enjoys rollercoasters and tiny fried foods, but greatly dislikes humidity and overdraft fees. She has never committed any crimes of any kind.
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