Not Even Pen Pals

People think they know what it’s like because they’ve lost friends before, but this is different. Straws wasn’t just any old friend. It’s not like I can find him on Facebook now, you know? There’s no way to reach him, ever–no phone number, no address, I don’t even know where he is, really–where he’s from.

I’ll tell you what makes it so bad: it’s that when he was here, it was the single most incredible time of my life. But when that happens, you don’t think it’s just going to end. You don’t think that it’s only going to last a couple weeks. You think it’s forever, that your life’s going to go on being more and more awesome. You feel touched. Blessed. You don’t think at all, not one bit, about how you’re gonna get sad and drunk some night at a bar and your girlfriend’s gonna ask you why you’re crying and you’re going to be stupid enough to tell her everything and say, “Meredith, I’m depressed and feel like life isn’t worth living, because when I was a kid I was friends for a little while with an alien.”

Girlfriends just don’t understand. Sooner or later, I always tell them, and then they get that look–the one that says, “Oh, I get it now. Why you’re single. Why you were hospitalized.”

What? Oh, no, see, there you go, thinking about Hollywood shit, thinking about E.T. and Mac and Me. Well, it wasn’t like that exactly–Straws never made my bike fly across the moon or caused a sudden dance party in a McDonald’s–but it was still a thrill to be near him. Straws was telepathic, and he would share visions with me of other planets he’d visited, and I thought he’d take me to some of them someday, but now even thinking about those things he shared with me is painful. He never took me anywhere. He just left one day. The government didn’t chase him off, either, and he didn’t die from anything; he just showed up one day and left another. I can’t even watch those other movies, because they make me angry. I keep wishing it was something else, something explicable that made Straws leave.

Fucking movies. Everything’s always better in the movies. Let me tell you, it’s painful to live something they made a movie about if your version isn’t as good.

People say I’m needy. That I have too much trouble enjoying things for what they are. I’m even too bitter to read news about the space program. When the Space Shuttle made its last flight, I was ecstatic. I’m so angry about space and all that stuff it ruins my whole day whenever I hear anything about it on the news or whatever.

Whatever’s out there, it can stay out there for all I care. To hell with Straws.

Ok, fine, you’re right. I wish he’d come back. I’d give anything. I really would.

Great, now I’m crying again.

  1. Mandler said:

    I told you this was a silly idea back when you put it in your screenplay for Project Greenlight 3. No one cares about a kid whining about his lost alien buddy. Too easy to make fun of this guy, you know? I even think you sell him a bit short with that last line, but you always do that.

  2. Scott said:

    I think Straws is a selfish prick of an alien! I now wonder if all aliens are like him. You know what, Screw Straws, and screw all aliens, you are better off without them.

  3. Kristopher Kelly said:

    You know what, Scott, you have a point. Eff that guy! He can keep his galaxy …

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