I offered Ray(rob(ert))a a chance to write a post-colonoscopy essay. He was all excited, promising to make it wonderful, make it great again, that it would be ‘uge. Addicts. His F150 was parked over by Monroe Park last Friday. Then it was gone. His phone shows up as being in Toano, VA. I guess he went to his girlfriend’s farm. So much for getting a blog post out of him.
Ray(rob(ert))a arrived on Terran soil in Yucatan, Mexico in 2015 from his home some light years distant. The night he arrived UFO spotters blew up Twitter with sightings. He speaks fluent Mayan and Spanish. His English isn’t very good. It’s nigh incomprehensible once he is drunk. Gender is a little tough because his race of aliens are hermaphrodites. He told me he ovulates and has something you could call a penis. Yes, I’ve seen s/him naked. His people don’t share our stuffiness around nudity. S/he mostly dresses as a human male since that seems to be easier than presenting himself as a woman.
S/he *loves* Earth, especially our women, our liquor and our food. He has a special fondness for Mayan women and Xtabentun. S/he spent Christmas of last year (2015) in Peru and discovered roast Cuy. Ray is also annoying because he is mildly paranoid. He told me one night still drunk that he drinks to cope with his anxiety. I’m always suspicious of a drunk’s words while drinking. This thing he said rings true. He seems like he’s in his mid-thirties in human terms. He tells me that because of the way his race traverses the stars it is effectively a one way trip. There is no way to return along the same timeline to the life he had before he left. I get the feeling he wasn’t a volunteer.
I’m not sure I like the idea of Earth being a prison colony for aliens of Ray(rob)ert))a’s sort. He tells me we don’t really have a choice. Yeesh. Pronouns. There is a fight currently over the proper pronoun for someone’s choice of gender. Ray tells me that although s/he is both and ovulates and can get pregnant, s/he chooses to be called a he in our culture because we are still asshats to women. I’ve seen s/him dress in a skirt and camisole with crocs for shoes. He’s already odd looking as an alien. I’ve also seen him in thrift store jeans and a t-Shirt from the show Moonshiners and Birkenstocks. Not being of this planet he doesn’t share our taboos. Ray tends to dress more feminine among people he knows and more butch among strangers.
Ray is taken. When he first arrived at Coba he met Itzel May who was trouble to her family for a few reasons, among them insisting on being called Gloria after Gloria Steinham. Usual farm girl wanderlust. Itzel seems to be mid-twenties, petite, and fierce. She wanted to go to University in Mexico City and study history. Her family was getting intense about her settling down with a nice local boy who farmed a half-acre. Itzel was gathering pitahaya when she saw Ray(rob(ert))a wandering. Girl meets alien hermaphrodite. Aliens of Ray’s sort don’t exactly marry for love in our complicated, Western way. It’s more of an imprinting thing. It was Ray’s time for that. He’d been sentenced to life here right when he was supposed to have a spouse.
Ok, ok. listen. I have my degree. I know the literary mistake I am making. We are supposed to narrate the story rather than describe it. The way I write involves iterative free-writing paired with re-writes and edits. An early phase of this is describing the story as it flowers in my heart. This is that phase. I know there is a novel in Ray’s initial romance with Itzel. This is a blog. 1500 words is long for a blog. Every word counts. So, to tell the RayItzel tale in something the length of a novel would mean serializing it ala “The Martian”. For now, not going to happen.
Where was I? Oh, RayItzel. Yeah. Itzel was at first annoyed with Ray because after she found him he was like a little kitten. He followed her everywhere. He wouldn’t go away. Then Itzel did what you should never do for a feral cat–she fed him. Game over. Then Itzel discovers he’s been supplied with a deep identity that includes dual Mexican/US citizenship, passports, all the rest. He’s also been supplied with “enough” gold and US currency by the prison authority that sent him here. Ray is her e-ticket out of Yucatan. Her family lays down an ultimatum: stay and marry a nice local boy or be shunned. It was a long 30 minutes initiated by a hot hand shot at her father and ended with shouting as she stormed out the door. Next stop was Ray’s hotel room. She asks Ray if s/he can help her with crossing the border. He goes one further. He is gone for a day and comes back with papers for Gloria May, who owns 10 acres in Kings County, VA. It’s not exactly love. But a deep identity as a landowner in the US went a long way. RayItzel became a thing that night.
Ray’s biggest disappointment with Richmond is the scarcity of Xtabentún. He usually drinks Tequila instead but it isn’t the same. I’ve seen him drink Absinthe. He tells me he can get close to Xtabentun if he mixes Tequila and Absinthe. I’m not a drinker so I’ll take his word for it. Second to his wish for genuine Xtabentun is homesickness for tamales. Itzel makes them but the ingredients here are not the same as back in Yucatan.
Ray isn’t around as much as he used to be. He’s mostly out on Itzel’s farm in Toano where nobody bothers him. I see him in his F150 sometimes on Midlothian. The latest thing is he joined Twitter and said he hates all my friends. Fine by me. He tells me he likes being a farmer. He was a food chemist back on his home planet. Anyway, that’s what I’ve got for Ray(rob(ert))a Bob. I’ve named him Marketing and Social Media Director of the blog. You can follow him on Twitter: @raybertabob. His g-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org.