New Mexico (cont'd)



Andelko – the internet says it’s Croatian for angel, or heavenly creature.




I floated south from the little hill where the Military Institute is, drifting more or less parallel to Main Street.



My flotation pods carried me higher and higher, until I had a wonderful view of the entire town.











Once I was asked to speak at Diversity Day at Roswell High School. So I got out my suit, which smells of mothballs and is getting kind of tight, and I made some notes about the evils of the Tito regime and my long journey to American citizenship, and so on. But up there on the auditorium stage, in the spotlight, I kind of lost it. I started talking about my homeworld, about the Flower Cities of Hssasrhol, in the nights of the second summer, when the air is thick and intoxicating with the aroma of the spice harvest and the young females wear a garland of the murhar blossoms, to show they seek partners for the mating gambols. I rambled in that manner for several minutes, desperately homesick and a little horny (thinking of the mating gambols), until at last I ground to a halt.

There was dead silence in the auditorium. Finally the principal thanked me for my harrowing tale of life under Communism, and there was some ragged applause. Afterwards, over juice boxes and stale cookies, several of the kids told me they never realized that Eastern Europe was so different from America. A few others asked me what Communism was.


After a few minutes of enjoying the view from up high, I released a few flotation pods and headed back down to fly lower over the city.



I flew south along U.S. 285, past the South Park Cemetery. My people are long-lived by human standards, and many of the humans who befriended me when I first arrived are now in pushing up the daisies here or up on the north end of town at Memory Lawn. And now I am an old timer myself.

And I thought of that night, so many years ago, falling out of the darkened sky, flotation pods bursting, drive unit glowing cherry red… and waking some unknown time later, under flashlight beams, surrounded by the shadowy forms of aliens.

“It’s waking up. It’s one of them space things! We gotta call the sheriff….”

“You kidding? We gotta call the Army… the Air Force….”

“Wait a second, boys.” A calmer voice. “Let’s not be hasty.”

“Are you kidding?! It’s gonna zap us with a ray gun – we gotta tie it up!”

“Well, he doesn’t look like such a bad fellow.” The voice was one I’d learn to recognize later as that of the director of the Roswell Chamber of Commerce – the first of many who I’d work with, over the years. “You know, boys, wouldn’t it be something if there were some kind of mystery in Roswell -- something really unique – something that would bring in a lot of people from out of town….”