By Attila Zønn
(It’s a usual Wednesday evening at Old Man Steve More’s house. In his Southwest motif living room, the gathered are:
—Lilah, a heavy middle-aged woman who gets around on a mobility scooter. She’s a brilliant artist who’s sketches and watercolours are displayed in the atrium and halls of the Community Centre. People want to buy her work but she refuses to sell because the income would interfere with her welfare cheque.
— Doreen, her friend, who accompanies Lilah’s travels and is there in case Lilah gets stuck.
—Erro, a confused 17 year old who’s become Old Man Steve’s protégé.
— JeFree, a Rastafarian gentleman.
—Bolo, Steve’s short-haired Golden Lab, who lies on a Navajo rug beside Steve’s La-Z-Boy.)
Lilah said, “I want to discuss the possibility that space aliens came to planet Earth, had sexual relations with the apes and that’s how humans came to be. How about we discuss that tonight?”
What followed was the usual silence—a moment to digest the topic and decide whether it should be considered or ridiculed.
JeFree turned to Old Man Steve and said, “I no want talk about no monkey.”
“I didn’t say monkey,” Lilah said. “I said apes. I really want to discuss the origins of man. That ape business—that’s just something I saw on TV the other night. I’ve always wondered where we came from. I think the hypothesis that space aliens created us is an interesting concept. Why not? Haven’t you ever wondered? I mean, why are we here? I don’t have a problem knowing we came from apes.”
“Why spaceman come to Earth?” JeFree said.
“They were looking for gold.”
“Why spaceman need gold?”
“Well, I’m not saying I believe it, but the story goes, there’s this planet, out there somewhere. It has a 3,600-year orbit. That’s why we can’t see it because it only comes around every 3,600 years. Coincidentally—though they were saying it’s not a coincidence—all of man’s greatest achievements have a 3,600-year interval.”
JeFree smiled and shook his head. “Typical. The arrogance of modern man. Them think ancient man too stupid to create a wheel or make a structure of block.”
“They didn’t say anything about wheels,” Lilah said, “but if you’ll let me finish… On their planet, the atmosphere is supposedly decaying. And it happened there was this big battle between two kings and the king that lost, he got banished into outer space where after a while he discovered the planet Earth, where he found gold and for some reason gold is what they needed to save their atmosphere, so now that he’s found the gold he goes back as a hero, because he can save the planet, all is forgiven, and the king of the planet sends him on a mission back to Earth with a few fellows to mine the gold but these other fellows, freed from the clutches of a king that nobody really likes, had a high opinion of themselves, and didn’t want to do all that hard work of digging and mining so they looked around and saw this female ape and…so originally we were created as slaves to mine the gold, but they created us so terribly sexed up that we multiplied so fast they couldn’t control us anymore.”
Doreen stopped knitting. “I saw that show,” she said. “There’s that place in Peru where they used to land.”
“How can gold save an atmosphere?” JeFree said. “They not enough gold to do anything except shine before greedy eyes. When I hear talk of gold, I know, that story?— a human creation.” He turned to Doreen. “And that what you talk about, in Peru? Them called the Nazca line. But ask yo’ self. If—if, spaceman come, them traverse astronomical distance and find this speck, this Earth. The Earth not even a drop in the vast ocean of the universe, yet them find it. Why, why them need markings on the ground—a runway? So they can land? It laughable. They no proof spaceman ever come to this world. They only pseudo-proof. Why, with they technology them only build monument o’ stone? If they been arrivin’ since ancient time, why them need hide they presence? Think about it. They afraid of 21st-century man? Do a grown man fear a baby? Do a human fear an ant? With all they power, with all they resource? Them navigate round the universe, yet them crash in the desert, them crash in the wood? It laughable.”
He turned to Old Man Steve. “It laughable.”
“In Star Trek they had a non-interference policy,” Doreen said.
JeFree laughed. “Yeah, but them interfere all the time.”
“I’m not saying I believe it,” Lilah said. “What do you think about where we came from? Do you think we go back to Adam and Eve? Do you think we were made from mud? At least this theory sounds scientific. Where do you stand on this topic, or are you here to shoot down everything everybody says, like always?”
“I hold a theory. I not always contrary to ever’thing”
“Let’s hear it, or are you afraid we’ll shoot you down?”
JeFree reached for his bottle of water on the coffee table and took a sip. He set it down and leaned back on the couch. He said, “Human come from one source. Long ago, human come from…ancient hermaphrodite.”
He leaned forward again and took a slow drink from his bottle, watching the reaction on all their faces.
“Where did the hermaphrodite come from?” Erro said.
“What’s a hermaphrodite? Is that like a plant?” Doreen said. “Are you saying humans came from plants?”
“Where hermaphrodite come from, no matter. Only that it exist, matter.”
“Who created the hermaphrodite?” Erro said.
“No one. The hermaphrodite always was.”
“Come on now,” Lilah said. “How can something have always been? It must have had a beginning. Things can’t always have been, unless, they’re supernatural.”
“No, the hermaphrodite natural.”
“I have to disagree,” Doreen said. “Something that’s always been must be magical. There’s no argument against that. How can you say that it was natural? That’s unbelievable. That thing must have been supernatural. That makes more sense.”
“What you’re saying makes no sense,” Lilah said. “Everything must have a beginning.”
“Alright… t’was a magical hermaphrodite. No, it was…it was a magical flying hermaphrodite. It fly ’round for aeon. Then, one day it say, ‘I bored, I lonely’. And that day? Human was create.”
“How can one creature create life by itself?” Doreen said.
JeFree put up his hands. “I give the facts. I not here to give you imagination.”
“Sure,” Lilah said nodding her head, “When was this supposed to have happened?”
“And when was that?”
“In the beginnin’.”
Doreen said to Lilah, “It must have been after the dinosaurs.” She turned to JeFree and said, “Was it after the time of the dinosaurs?”
“I not know when it was. What ever come before human no matter anyway. Only human time matter. Only human conscious of time.”
Lilah followed the faces around the room. “Steve?” Old Man Steve sat slouched in his La-Z-Boy, holding a bottle of beer. “Anything’s possible,” he said. “Discuss.”
“That’s ridiculous,” Lilah said. “That’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard. You can’t be serious?”
“I knew it,” she said. “Why do you come here? You’re such a cynic about everything. You take all the fun out of our discussions. Steve, why does he come here?”
“I ridiculous? Spaceman come to earth and fornicate with monkey? That not ridiculous?”
“Why do you keep saying monkey?”
“Cause it all monkey business to me.”
“It’s more plausible than a flying he-she populating the world. Do you think in this vast universe we’re the only intelligent life? At least you can see the similarity between humans and apes. They say the only difference between humans and chimps is like… 2%.”
“Them say, the difference only 1.2%. Ask yo’self: How? What chimp do? Chimp, sit it tree, eat banana. What chimp know? Chimp know: eat, def’cate, fornicate. Do a chimp, know, it a chimp? Do a chimp swing from tree to tree thinkin’ it a happy chimp and life is good?”
“Maybe they do,” Doreen said. “Who can really say?”
JeFree shook his head.
“When it rain, human get out of the rain. Chimp sit in tree and get wet. Human cold? Human create shelter. Chimp cold? Chimp freeze! Chimp die! What great culture chimp got? Human create music, them create paintin’, them write poem, them think deep thought. Human can cure they self. Them take organ from dead body and put in another so that body can live. Sometime,” —he shrugged— “human no like each other—understandable—so them discuss they differences. Chimp no like you?— Chimp throw feces. Chimp tear your face off. Of all the beast in the world only human know it was born and it gone die. All this, the difference only 1.2%?” He shook his head. “It a hoax. I know, science do lotta good for mankind, but sometime science lie. Science manipulate the masses. Why? So human no pollute. So human no devour ever thing and encroach upon ever place them see. It a commendable hoax. I no want knock it. What better way them create compassion for the lower beast than to feign kinship.”
“I think there’s something to it,” Doreen said, nodding her head. “I saw this show and chimpanzees have better memories than humans.”
JeFree rolled his eyes.
“Ask yourself: What great worry cloud chimp mind? Chimp worry about life? Chimp got a mortgage? Chimp fight with the girlfriend? The human mind full of distraction. Chimp only want treat. Anyway, this spaceman shit? It no different than all the other space god shit. It all about modern man create modern god. Ancient god on mountain give way to god in spaceship. It all the same. It no different than believe in the god of Olympus.”
“The gods of Olympus are fake,” Doreen said. “Everybody knows that but those gods are fun aren’t they? Neptune, Mercury, Oedipus, Jupiter, Jason and the Argonauts. Fun stories. I love those old myth stories. My favorite Greek god is Zeus. He was the king of the gods.”
“Zeus?” JeFree said. “You make a favorite of Zeus? No talk about Zeus. Zeus? The most prolific serial rapist in all mythology? Zeus, the great deceiver? Him change shape many time to put his seed in woman. Zeus a great rascal. Him hide in the bush all the time. Him rape lotta wood nymph.”
“I think you’re confusing Zeus with Pan,” said Lilah. “The fellow that was half goat.”
“I not confusing nothing with no one. Let me tell you how the god thing begin. It begin with the new awareness of primitive man. Envision—after a meal of mammoth, with all that good fat surging in they veins, them feel heavy, lie on the grass, look up and see the stars a twinklin’, and them wonder— what it all about? Them see the big moon shinin’ down and wonder—what it all about? As they lying there, pickin’ they teeth with a sliver of wood, primitive man want to know the answer to the moon and the stars, them want to know why the sun come up, why it rain, why them can’t see the wind but feel it, why they born, why they die, but primitive man hold a primitive mind. So them create they own answer. Them create gods in they own image. Them first gods was nature gods because primitive man surrounded by nature…”
Copyright©Attila Zønn 2018