I believe someone once said, "Music is the soul on a physical plane." If not, then it was I. Music has provided support through wars, intrigued imaginations, and made legends. If it were not for music, this next story would never have existed. This being just another example of the power of music, I present.
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THE DAY THE WORLD CHANGED...
It took exactly 10.666.666 Seconds. In that instance, a seed was planted, that would change the face of the planet for what anyone could foresee as inevitably. Where was I? I was in the john. On every signal, car radio, television, satellites world wide, secure government channels, almost everyone heard it. Felt it. Except I. I was in the can listening to headphones. A new Pete Yorn CD I had bought. I've always preferred the sentimental styling of rising young stars to the over sensationalized music industry. Don't get me wrong, I have listened to radio, but this time I didn't. And it may have saved my life.
I'll relay it as the third party, A simple notary. My best friend Philip experienced how it began, before it began.
Philip was driving down the main road in the city. He had just crossed Gyves Street, heading for the next township. He was checking his hair in the rearview mirror. Glanced over at the street. Nothing seemed out of place. Men, Women and children on the sidewalk, Rush hour traffic. He was heading for his girlfriendís house. The radio was on, but he'd managed to drown out the monotonous music. Until he heard, for what seemed like an eternity, but much more like seconds looking back, a static vibration he had never encountered before. Now Philip knew he wasn't a master of technology, but he had never heard anything like this. Then it was over. He shook off the strange sound as the song continued, looking out upon the people on the streets. None really seemed any different. He continued on to his girlfriends telling only me when he arrived home.
I arose from the porcelain seat, cleaned myself off, and pulled up my trousers. My C.d. player fell to the floor for the fourth time this week.
"God damnit. I'm gonna have to cash in on that extended warranty if I keep this up. This is the third week."
I fastened the belt and flexed in the mirror. Critiquing my stout body freshly tanned from swimming.
I live alone in a condo complex in an apartment I rent out from a landlord who hasn't seen the place in 2 years. It was rounding eight O' Clock. Philip my best friend, who was staying with me because of a tiff with his girlfriend, was on his way over there. The sky was growing a bit darker as twilight came, and I noticed the girls who lived across the small green hill in the second set of buildings had their bedroom light on. I was for the most part, lucky, four of the units I could see from my windows had beautiful women, one older woman, one married Greek couple, and next door a quite attractive single forty year old.
I scanned the brightly-lit open window through the tree in mid the space.
"Oh yeah, where are ya?" I perched up in my seat at the computer desk, to get a better view.
"Oh I see a closet. Is someone changing?"
"I don't see yooou. Where are you sweetie?"
"OHHHH there you are. Yes very nice corset. For me? Oh you shouldn't of. Pink and black, oh you don't need that black thong, no. That a girl. Take a look in the mirror, oh oh, left left. There we go. Very nice, such a firm bottom. I love the perm. That's it, what's that between your legs. Oh a sensitive tuff of.... Thatís right. Ooh someone's naughty; ladies don't spread their legs like that. Oh what do you hear? Is someone there to help you honey?"
"No no, don't need a robe, let them help, come on. No, no, no, op, damnit. Oh itís the blonde with the kid. Why's it crying? You want mommy, I want mommy, you don't see me crying. Little brat."
I relaxed back in my chair. Flipped on the monitor and began writing. I was working on a story, my first novel. A book about a detective that falls for a Vietnamese girl who's really a sea creature from the bottom of the ocean here to punish men for pollutants that killed her father. I call it "THE DAME FROM THE DEEP." Still a working title.
About two hours later, Philip returned home, and I had hardly written a paragraph. He was telling me about his night as my eyes glazed. Somewhere in there he mentioned the strange static, complaining about the crappie radio station.
We had forgotten about everything, until about four weeks later. When almost systematically, I noticed people acting funny. Not all the time. Just here and there.
I walked into work, at a local restaurant. Where my boss, Howard, was particularly quiet and grumpy. He was in character until he came up to me and out of no where, after throwing his arm around my shoulders, he says:
"Wallace, you know son, sometimes just because life gets tough doesn't mean you have to get long in the face. Just keep looking up. Why don't you take the night off and go see your girl jenny, see if you canít persuade her to take you to that social. Don't worry about Spud Mackenzie, he doesn't have your spunk!"
As Howard strode away, with a giant goofy unfamiliar smile, I took the chance to leave work, because I'm not a fool. The rest of the day some little run-ins like that occurred, but nothing astronomically disturbing.
That brings us to
I was leaving the house for work one afternoon. Shaken by the atrocities on MTV. My daily fix of sex, violence, anger and rock and roll had been supplemented with Nat King Cole videos. Nat King Cole twenty-four seven, I even stayed up till 6 a.m. to document this phenomenon. DO YOU KNOW WHAT 24 HOURS OF NAT KING COLE DOES TO A MAN? But the most important event this day was when I left the house. The sun was bright, and I at first squinted, seeing only a montage of brown and yellow down both sides of the street. As my eyes adjusted, it came into view what exactly had "prespired". For as far down as I could see into the oasis of heat on asphalt, were lemonade stands. A creepy kind of scene, each tended by a vigilante youngster. I looked behind me, the exact same display.
As I got into my car, I drove down the road, all the while children shouting "LEMONADE, GET YOUR LEMONADE. COME ON MISTER, ONLY 10 CENTS." I sped up in my Lamanz and rolled up the window. As the crazed lemonade dealers grew in numbers along the side of the street. This was the kind of strength capitalism was built on, but did they know nothing of inflation?
In my pure adulterated fright, I managed to break most speeding laws. Dually so, I was pulled over by one officer who merely walked up to my car, chuckled and said:
"Whoa there fella, do you know how fast you were going?"
"About 70 sir. I know itís a 45 but..."
"Kids these days." He said. "All right, Ill let you off with a warning this time. But next time, Ill have to call your parents. Go on son."
What the hell was going on? This was the city where cops beat young men into the ground if they looked at them funny. With time to spare due to my speedy arrival, I decided to visit the mall next to the restaurant. Inside the mall I was not prepared.
Everyone smiled. People acknowledged each other. Shaking hands, saying hello.
"Oh aren't you just cute as a button." One woman said to a little boy walking by in pants two sizes too big around his waist, a baggy shirt, and a hat backwards. His reply?
'Thank ya mam'
A store dealer at Footlocker:
"Oh don't worry about it, you don't have enough? Just pay me back when you can. In fact, bring me some corn bread and we'll call it even."
I heard a symphony of "Gee willikers." and "Good Golly's." I ran through the mall, every store was a similar experience. Outside in the parking lot, a man backed into a woman. They got out of their cars expecting a fighting match.
"I'm sorry I didn't see your car miss. I'm terribly sorry."
"Don't worry, its only a cougar, I've got a Buick at home. But you have yourself a great day!"
I raced to the Electronics store in the mall. My head spinning. There a television on the local news reported nothing but news about a malt shop opening, taxes being lowered, and the promotion of health. Nothing about plane crashes, deaths, school shootings, and robberies. That's when I saw Philip. I glided down the escalator and grabbed him by his arm as he walked with his girlfriend.
"Philip, do you see what the hell I'm seeing?"
"That's not very nice language Wallace."
"The fuck itís not, look at these people, pinch me or something. I think I'm hallucinating."
His girlfriend Tracy bent forward with her finger in the air.
"Maybe you shouldn't eat sweets before bed time. They'll give ya a bad OLE tummy ache and bad dreams. You should know better! Tsk. Tsk. Tsk."
'What the fuck?!"
"She's right. You just need to get some sleep and relaxation. How about you come and play with me and the guys today at the local baseball game?"
"Baseball? You can barely even walk straight, you're a klutz!"
"Its Americas favorite past time."
"Has the whole world gone Cosby?!"
That's when things delve into Bizarre. Philip took his girlfriend by the arm, whispered in her ear, and she smiled and went off into the mall. Philip turned to me.
"Walk with me Wallace."
I chuckled uneasily. "Huh ok."
We started up the escalator to the second floor, then into the Atrium of the mall, over looking the entrance, the food court and the row of stores.
"Wallace, you see we've been here before."
"Yes, we're mall rats, just not the loser kind, you don't read comic books, and I'm not chasing some frumpy Shannon Doherty with a raunchy young Ben Affleck in tow."
"No, Wallace, just listen."
"We are called the Kishnar. We were on a search for intelligent life. We believed anything intelligent, would be peace loving like ourselves. We are made of pure thought; we have lived for an immeasurable amount of time. In that void, we have become intelligent, and learned from many experiences. Life is not about coming out on top, once the body dies. Life is about how you help those left behind. Everyone makes an impact on everyone else. Itís pointless to live in war, and hatred.
We came to earth. What you would call decades ago. When we first received your signals, your early television programs, We believed you to be a peace-loving planet. When we came, we found only war, destruction. Nuclear plants creating unstable environments, army bases. This saddened us. It wasn't until one of our vessels was attacked and taken prisoner in one of your deserts that we decided to act.
Our plan was simple; we would infiltrate your world through your wavelengths. Through your mass communication networks. With a device we created, we transported most of the inhabitants of our world, into the bodies of you here on earth. In the tiny void that exists between the percentage of the brain humansí use, and that which you have no control over, we gestated. Your friends and family still exist, they are still themselves, we merely help regulate all fears. Yes, it may seem life has turned into a giant episode of happy days, or I love Lucy. These though are the ideals humans could never achieve but secretly wished for. You see in that hazy fraction of infinite time, your world has changed. You may be alone in the fact you are not part of the link we all share, Wallace, but you are not cast out. We will accept you if you are willing. The choice is yours."