“For that,” Iman said, “we’re going to have to take a look at what you’ve got to work with.”
“You see,” Yewell added, “your world is comprised of an array of different people from all walks of life. Each one has particular needs that need to be addressed, and the mental constructs that you currently have in place work just as much to hinder your progress as they do to propel it.”
“So we need to get everyone on the same page?”
“That will come in time, but we have a big library to get through before we reach that point. Right now, let’s just focus on getting them in the same book.”
“Perhaps we should go for a ride,” Iman suggested.
“A ride? Out in public? Don’t you think you two will kind of stand out?”
“Don’t worry about it,” Yewell assured. “You’re the only one who sees us in this form.”
“What do you mean?”
“Humans only see what they’re ready to see, what fits into the parameters of the mental constructs they’ve created.”
“Why do I see you like this?”
“Because you want to.” Yewell opened the door. “Are you ready to go?”
I led them out to my car while keeping an eye out for onlookers. What would people think if they saw me driving around with two aliens?
I got behind the wheel and turned the ignition. The car still wouldn’t start.
“We’ve got a problem,” I said.
Iman reached forward and touched the dashboard. The car sprang to life.
“How did you do that?”
Iman smiled, “I believe you refer to it as `shop class.’ Wanna try for yourself?” He touched the dashboard again and the car stalled.
I reached forward slowly and touched the dashboard. Nothing happened.
“Um, you might want to try it with the key,” said Iman.
I rolled my eyes and turned the key. The car sprang to life.
Iman shrugged. “We’ve all got our own way of doing things.”
I pulled out of the parking lot and stopped at a traffic light where an elderly woman was waiting to cross. Her rather large dog
took the opportunity to sniff a lamppost as if the secrets of the universe were hidden within its scent.
I sunk down in my seat a little as she looked my way. She smiled, and I sheepishly raised my hand in a subtle wave. Both of the aliens waved back with glee. The woman nodded politely and watched for the light to change.
“What does she see when she looks at you?” I asked.
“What she wants to see,” Iman explained. “Three friendly Caucasians riding in a car.”
The canine finished with his search and diverted his attention toward the car. He immediately started barking feverishly and nearly pulled the old woman down as he clamored for the car. Despite the woman’s attempts to hold him back, the dog placed his front paws on the passenger side door and began licking Iman furiously.
“Cooper!” the woman cried, “get down!”
Iman made a kissing noise as he scratched the dog behind the ears. Cooper continued to thrash his tongue about in unbridled ecstasy.
“I am so sorry,” the woman said as she struggled to pull the dog away. “He’s never done this before. He’s usually such a good boy.”
Iman emitted a short whistling sound. Cooper cocked his head and lowered all four paws onto the ground.
“He’s still a good boy,” Iman said. “There’s nothing bad about showing love.”
Cooper guided his woman back to the sidewalk, and the light changed to green.
As I proceeded through the light, I asked, “What was up with the dog?”
Iman smiled. “Dogs are more in tune with the present than humans. They don’t get caught up in all of the illusions that humans comfort themselves with. Therefore, dogs see us as we are.”
“He seemed to like you.”
“Why wouldn’t he?”
“Other than the fact that you look like an albino eggplant?”
“That’s just the way you see us.”
“You mean you really don’t look like that.”
Yewell leaned into the front seat. “Don’t assume that you don’t have your own illusions as well, Steve.”
“That’s why you created them,” Iman said.
“What do you mean I created them?”
“All of your concepts, the ideas that you have about what reality really consists of, are your own creation. Remember what I said about humans only using ten percent of their mental faculties? Well, your concepts keep the percentage that low.”
“And what would happen if I were to give up those concepts?”
“Your brain would explode.”
“But in a good way,” added Yewell.
“How exactly can my brain explode in a good way?”
“You’d open your mind to new understanding and be able to use it in ways that you never knew possible.”
“And how do I go about doing that?”
“That’s what we intend to help you with. Turn here.”
This is an excerpt from How to Survive an Estralarian Mind Meld. Order your copy today!
Steve McAllister is the author of The Rucksack Letters and How to Survive an Estralarian Mind Meld. He posts regularly at InkenSoul.com, and sometimes posts at Anything Arts, Sarasota Music Scene, and Elephant Journal, and is currently the Director of Operational Development for the Common Wealth Time Bank in Sarasota, Florida. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.