Lasetter woke up slowly. The sun was rising, the sky was illuminating slowly and the wind was gusty blowing a gentle cool breeze from the west. He felt good with the cool air hitting his hot skin. He staggered to his feet and made his way to the railing of the pier. He was still at the restaurant, but no one had bothered to move him as he laid there passed out the entire evening. He seemed harmless enough; not dangerous…so everyone left him alone and allowed him to sleep in that safe place by the pier with the gentle ocean breezes cooling his skin.
Lasetter staggered over to the railing, reaching the margin of the restaurant night light in order to urinate into the ocean harmlessly. He dropped his penis shaped whiskey flask and watched it roll dangerously close to the edge of the pier. Please. Please, do not drop into the ocean.
It didn’t, as if Lasetter’s prayer’s had been heard.
He approached the end of the pier with great effort, needing to urinate and to make his way home cleanly. His eyes rolled up into his head once again and he thought he was going to pass out; but he pulled himself together, shook his head to clear the fog and muttered to himself, “Now I know what to do…”
It was as if the alcohol had eliminated everything from his mind except the one single thought that was important at this moment in human history.
Lasetter once again felt he had purpose.
Two things in the Universe were conspiring to help him along and to get a message into Lasetter’s head. The penis flask, which he had dropped and had rolled over to a precarious position on the pier’s edge, had acted as a crude lens, concentrating the light from the rising sun upon a small area on Lasetter’s forehead.
On an immeasurably larger scale, the dense core or the earth and the tides of the ocean below Lasetter’s feet were exactly in the correct position to converge the thought waves coming from Lasetter’s home planet into Lasetter’s mind. This combinations of circumstances which opened Lasetter once again to his species lasted only a few minutes, and was not likely to occur this side of eternity.
It was indeed, fortuitous set of circumstances.
No one but Lasetter could have received these thoughts, not even Lasetter himself, had he not been still blind drunk, still teetering on the razor edge of now and the delicate sharp edge of consciousness…had he not still been waking from his drunken sleep where he wanted to remain because there were no disappointments, no set-backs, no aging and no lost youth. Had not all this occurred in this instance, Lasetter would have been deaf and blind to the message from his home planet as well.
Wavering slightly, Lasetter put his chins in his hands and supported his head, barely able to stand, and stared at the seals below which seemed to remain only to keep him company during the night. To watch over him. To make sure he remained alive to fulfill his purpose. The children throwing French fries into the water for the seals to east had long ago departed, so Lasetter couldn’t help but wonder why the seals remained, and if they remained for him alone.
He gazed morosely at the water below and the few remaining seals, feeling horribly sad for the one seal that had glowed with the white, ghostly radioactive iridescence of nuclear waste; so he decided to empty his mind of all thought and put himself temporarily into a painless, meditative trance to ease his own suffering and that of the seal below him, swimming in the murky colored ocean. The barriers of his brain went down…
At that moment, the massive intellects of his home planet gave a unified cry of triumph, and the ocean in front of Lasetter’s eyes slowly dissolved into a swirling mist of fog and steam. The seals were gone. Lasetter appeared to be looking down into a tunnel that stretched into infinity. And, as a matter of fact, he was. He recognized it as the portal to his home world, and, if he couldn’t use it to escape from this place called Earth, he could use it to at least communicate with his kind.
Lasetter studied the vision with great interest. It was certainly a novelty, one he had not seen for centuries, one he had thought never to see again. His heart leaped with Joy. And when the voice started to speak in his mind, coming over the top of the splashing waves and the sound of the gentle, cooling breezes, he let it ramble on and soak into his consciousness before he chose to respond. He was so happy not to be alone, not to feel abandoned, to become one with his species again. But even when drunk, Lasetter had an old fashioned prejudice against conversing with himself in public: a prejudice he had picked up on this planet, as no one he had met on earth had demonstrated telepathic abilities.
“Lasetter” the voice began. “Listen carefully. We have had extreme difficulty in contacting you and we may not be able to duplicate this effort. We know it’s been centuries, but this is extremely important. This is your commanding officer…Urban Space Cowboy.”
Lasetter allowed Urban Space Cowboy drone on in his mind for moments, minutes, seemingly decades. He had been on earth for too long. Nothing was extremely important anymore. Or, did he simply need to sober up? It was hard to judge. His mind was muddy. And it had been so long since he had contacted his kind, he began to doubt his senses, even before the conversation had time to get started.