They Never Really Went Away

2015-07-20-bw-beacham

“The petroglyphs told the story of an unusual event.” He paused, staring out at the lecture hall through thick lenses, hands clasped behind his back. In his pinstripe cutaway and bow tie he resembled a vulture, the effect highlighted by gleam of the hall lights on his bald skull. “Anyone care to guess?”

A tense silence followed. Three hundred freshmen, all new to the school, all uncertain of the rules and expectations, all intensely focused on the slide projected onto the screen. I sat in the darkened back row, up near the top. I was almost sure of the answer, so I thought I’d make my mark, get out in front of the pack.  I raised my hand.

“Yes, you in the back?”

I stood. In this formal atmosphere, it seemed proper.

“I believe, Professor, that they represent the First Contact.”

“Excellent. They most certainly do. And since our Alien—overlords, shall we say?— have indeed returned, it is important that all of us know this fact. Write it on your hearts, students, as you did with 1492 and 1776. Lest you forget, these beings are not strangers. They have indeed been among us from the dawn of time.”

The Alien seated next to the lectern seemed mollified, but it was always hard to tell with them. Something about the eyes.