Thursday, May 20, 2010

Eddie Love, Part II

Anyone who still has questions about whether there’s alien life on this planet has not met Eddie Love.

When in motion, it was beyond question that Eddie was, in fact, an alien. In a non-ambulant state, Eddie’s looks were certainly passable: a large-ish, hawk-shaped nose (on a good day, a Roman nose; on a bad day it was a Jewish one), warm, sincere brown puppy eyes, and a not overly short build that could certainly pass for somewhat muscled and sound.

Once he started walking, it was all over. To my well-trained anthropologist’s eye, it was evident beyond any reasonable doubt that Eddie had only very recently joined the human race. Clinically speaking, he definitely displayed a number of symptoms characteristic of arrested evolutionary development. He still had proverbial egg yolk behind his ears.

Eddie’s body lacked not only definition, it seemed to lack perimeter. He had a slow, methodical gait best described as something between lumbering and plodding. It was less one foot in front of the other than like one of those wind-up toys whose feet sort of mechanically loop, or rotate, in front of each other.

Although he did not, I could never shake the eerie impression that Eddie had webbed feet. Especially with his toes turned slightly inwards, he walked almost exactly as if he were wearing scuba flippers.
But the worst part about Eddie in motion occurred above the waist, not below it.

Eddie stuck his ass out when he walked. I don’t mean a little bit. I mean he put Black Ghetto Mama to shame. He had a fairly sizeable ass for a white human male, and if he’d worn it tucked somewhat in, it could have even have been considered an attractive physical feature. However, Eddie walked his ass around as if there were peacock feathers sprouting out of it.

But like I said, the worst part of Eddie in motion was above the waist.

What I’m getting at is Eddie’s hands. When Eddie walked, he tucked his elbows up and wore his hands at just above shoulder level, wrists extended back to expose his palms gleefully facing front. From the waist up, his body language was a perpetual expression of a pleasantly surprised Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz. Maybe he used his hands to counterbalance the weight of his hyper-extended ass. But it was very, very certain that Eddie was simply not used to inhabiting a humanoid form and that he just didn’t quite know how to pull it off.

After a few weeks of watching this, any possible remnants of novelty had worn off and all that was left for me was the grating chafe of embarrassment of being associated with a half-hatched human amoeba. Eddie wasn’t one to take subtle hints: if he were, he would’ve noticed that my tendency to walk on the opposite sidewalk of him when we were going somewhere in public bespoke of an underlying situation that would require eventual address. After all, I lived in Southside Chicago, and any reputational considerations aside, it was an actual safety hazard to be seen walking down those streets with a white man who walked like a blissed-out, oblivious fag.

I tried to enlighten him; to appeal to his senses, as it were. “When we walk down the street together, you are supposed to protect me from real or potential threats”, I lectured him. “This is how you walk” (I imitated a large bird with a spear stuck in its ass). “It does not make me feel safe and protected to walk with you”.

I allowed a few minutes to let the weight of my words penetrate, visualizing a brain deep inside his skull of a consistency, density and color not unlike the ancient peat bog from whence I imagine he had emerged. (In spite of how amazingly dense he was, I was to find out later that Eddie had a genius-level IQ, which made him the closest thing to an idiot savant that I’ve ever dated – or known otherwise). I then launched into the first of what would become a series of walking lessons for Eddie.

My only real goal was to teach him how to walk like a human male, not even so much out of self-interest or to “change him” than for the purely altruistic goal of helping him escape detection for a few more years until his work on this planet was complete. It was painfully obvious that Eddie was new at this human thing, and it was my job to do right by my expensive cultural anthropology degree to teach him our ways so he at least had a fighting chance.

Every woman wants a guy to make her feel special. Eddie definitely did this for me. I felt like he was an important project which, once complete, might change the course of human history as we know it. For the first time in a long while, I felt historically relevant, probably not unlike Rudyard Kipling, when he expressed his sentiments towards his responsibility for the civilization of savages in his famous poem titled “The White Man’s Burden”. Eddie was my savage little alien, sent to me for reasons I had yet to fully understand.

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