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You Can’t Tell the Mind of a Squid…

This ongoing conversation takes place in the present day. Commodore, or Com, as Leo has come to call him, is from another dimension. He has been tried in the courts of his world for the crime of urinating in a public place, which is one of the highest crimes he could commit, apparently. He vehemently maintains his innocence. (Leo suspects they just wanted to get rid of him.) Com has been sentenced to find someone they call the “only one” from which he is to learn about Earth in this dimension. He can’t surf the web, as he can’t read any of the languages of this earth. And he was warned not to trust the media. Somewhere they (Com’s superiors) found faith that the “only one” would be wise enough to answer Com’s questions. Don’t worry – it makes sense to them, whoever they are. Leo, of course, is the “only one.” He is the only one who can see and hear Com. Leo has taken to wearing a Bluetooth earpiece in the hopes that not everyone would think he was talking to himself, or, God forbid, an invisible alien from another dimension. And for the record, Leo does not feel qualified in the least to answer any questions Com asks. He is stuck in this surreal situation, and he didn’t even urinate in public.

 

In a Hurry

[The two are sitting at a picnic table.]

 

                               Leo

Hurry up. I have something to do soon. What do you want to talk about today?

                               Com

I went to the mall like you suggested.

                                Leo

Right.

                                Com

There was something I noticed that I found strange.

                                Leo

Oh. Do tell.

                                Com

Well. I have noticed that all people are almost always in a hurry.

                                Leo

Yeah.

                                Com

When we rode in the car with your brother, he was in such a hurry that all the other people in a hurry weren’t hurrying enough for him. To the point where he used so many of those words you had to explain to me in a display of fist shaking, shouting, and sputtering.

                                Leo

So, people are in a hurry.

                                Com

Didn’t you say that 80% of people suffer from road rage? And I think a significant number of people in the mall almost had to be a sample of the general population.

                                Leo

[leaning in, a little interested despite himself]

I guess you could say that. I don’t know if that would be the case if you asked a scientist or anything.

                                Com

What I don’t understand is why most of the people at the mall were in such a non-hurry.

                                Leo

What do you mean?

                                Com

Well. I’m pretty short, and I walked past people easily. The people were looking around and basically strolling through the place. I mean it made some sense when they were in the relatively open corridors of the mall, but the grocery store was incredible.

                                Leo

Incredible?

                                Com

There were people standing around, having conversations, their carts blocking aisles. Indecision filled many of their faces. Some of them stood in front of the many shelves with a dazed look. I watched people pick things off the shelves and put them back, then picking up the same product again, putting it down, before yet again picking it up, and putting it in their cart.

                                Leo

I never thought of that.

                                Com

They were like people in slow motion. In every other aspect of their lives they are in such a mad rush that they spend an awful lot of time angry and uptight.

                                Leo

Fair enough.

                                Com

Why do they stop being in a hurry when they go to a mall?

                                Leo

I don’t know Com. I hate shopping. I know what I’m going for, I go in, and get it.

                                Com

You would seem to be in the minority Leo.

                                Leo

I don’t know about that. Now go away, I have to meet my brother. I’ll see you tomorrow as usual.

                                Com

You’re starting to like our conversations aren’t you.

                                Leo

No. I still wish you’d leave me the hell alone. Now go.

[Com hops off the table and walks away.]

God

 

[The two unlikely companions are sitting at a picnic table in a park near Leo’s place. Com is sitting cross legged on the top of the table in front of Leo, invisible as usual. Leo has his Bluetooth dongle in his ear so he can “talk to himself” without people necessarily thinking he’s nuts. Jury’s out meanwhile – he is talking to an invisible alien, after all.]

 

Com

How are you today?

 

Leo

I’m alright. How are you?

 

Com

I don’t know.

 

Leo

What do you mean, you don’t know?

 

Com

I just am. I don’t understand this how I am thing. [Com scratches his head] You know what else I don’t understand?

 

Leo

I’m sure there’s a list somewhere.

 

Com

Do you believe in God?

 

Leo

It’s too early in the morning for a question like that Com.

 

Com

Does time have something to do with it?

 

Leo

No. I don’t know. What did I ever do to be tormented by you, anyway?

 

Com

My superiors said you would be honored.

 

Leo

Yeah, but they also told you one person in all this world could answer your questions.

 

Com

But you can.

 

Leo

I really can’t Com.

 

Com

Well, I’m going to go on the premise that you can. This whole thing doesn’t make sense otherwise.

 

Leo

We have very different ideas of what makes sense, Com.

 

Com

So, do you?

 

Leo

You know Com. There was a time, at least in this society (and I use that term loosely) that there was a kind of unwritten rule. You don’t talk about sex. politics, or religion.

 

Com

Why not?

 

Leo

Because they are three things we humans have in common, aside from death and taxes, and they are three things not everyone agrees on. So I think the idea was that people would get along much better if those subjects were avoided, at least among those who weren’t your closest friends, presumably.

 

Com

But we’re great friends.

 

Leo

Right.

 

Com

So, do you?

 

Leo

I don’t know. I want to say it depends whose God, but then we’d be leaving out other religions like Buddhism.

 

Com

Well, let’s stick with God then. We’re not really talking about belief systems per se.

 

Leo

What do you know already?

 

Com

Not much. It’s just a fairly common belief. But it seems it doesn’t go much further than that.

 

Leo

Yeah, I can see that.

 

Com

I have seen no evidence of the existence of such a thing.

 

Leo

There’s no evidence that you exist either, so that doesn’t mean much.

 

Com

But…

 

Leo

I’m kidding with you Com. Why do you want to know if I believe in God?

 

Com

Besides the fact that you’re the only one I can talk to?

 

Leo

Yeah. Okay. Well I believe what I believe, and it isn’t for anyone else. It’s mine.

 

Com

But do you have proof that it exists?

 

Leo

I don’t need proof.

 

Com

Oh. You’re talking about this faith stuff.

 

Leo

Probably not in the sense that you mean it.

 

Com

Oh?

 

Leo

Yeah. I think, and this is just what I think, okay. I think that it is probable there is no objective God, at least not one that actively controls what goes on here on earth. People praise God for good things happening in their lives, and blame God for bad things. I think things just are the way they are.

 

Com

I’m becoming convinced that the belief in God is not dependent upon the existence of God.

 

Leo

What do you mean?

 

Com

Well. If we’re honest, there’s no proof one way or the other, is there?

 

Leo

I’d have to agree with that, as an intelligent human being, I guess. People have argued for centuries about it though, most, if not all of them, more intelligent than I – so there’s that. Some have written much on the subject, some resorting to philosophical debate. But, technically, you’re right. It’s just basically an argument, over, as one comedian put it, an imaginary friend. I think it was Robin Williams, but I could be wrong. I’ve listened to a lot of comedians.

 

Com

Comedians are like town criers, right?

 

Leo

Now that’s interesting. Some of them, maybe.

 

Com

Tell me more about your God.

 

Leo

I don’t like to use the word God too much. It lumps you in with too many belief systems that cause a lot of bad things to happen to people. Like some people believe they are better than other people because of their beliefs. Some people hurt other people over their beliefs. Some groups that call themselves Christians, for example, refuse to accept some people the way they are and try to force them to change, and even denounce some as unfit to live. The problem with people like that is they use their belief system, that many other people follow, to justify their behavior. How, I’ll never understand. One thing I do believe is that it is not right to hurt other people. It is inevitable, but it’s supposed to happen by accident. Why would I want to lump myself in with those kinds of people who call themselves Christians? Not all Christians are bad like that, but I still don’t want to be lumped in with them. Everyone should be able to do whatever they want as long as they’re not hurting anyone.

 

Com

But those people believe they are doing the right thing.

 

Leo

Yes. That’s the problem. And, if you’ll notice, there’s the word belief again.

 

Com

I think I get it.

 

Leo

Right. You get it, and much of the rest of the world doesn’t.

 

Com

It is simply a matter of belief. Even atheists are choosing to believe something – that there is no God. It’s just about what you choose.

 

Leo

I suppose choice is what it comes down to. Some of it goes beyond choice though, I think.

 

Com

What do you mean?

 

Leo

Well, anything one is told when one is too young to be able to choose for themselves tends to stick with that person throughout their life. It is difficult in those situations to completely eradicate the old ideas.

 

Com

Yes, but there’s still choice.

 

Leo

Yeah. I suppose one doesn’t have to act on the old ideas.

 

Com

Will you tell me what you believe?

 

Leo

[He sighs]

It doesn’t matter.

 

Com

I don’t understand.

 

Leo

Because my beliefs don’t involve other people. Because I believe one thing above everything else.

 

Com

And what is that?

 

Leo

The main thing is to try not to be a dick*. Now go away.

 

Com

But…

 

Leo

No. That’s enough for today. I need my brain later.

 

[Com hops off the table and walks away.]

 

*I think Jim Jefferies said this.