Passion Seeped Through Foreign Translation
I wrote this assignment for a creative writing class. I didn’t like this assignment but it meant a lot to the teacher. At the bottom of my printed piece she responded, “Best piece I’ve received all year.” The assignment was to write a dialogue shared between an Alien and a Human, then pick the topic of discussion, I chose racism.
Alien: Did I pronounce that word correctly?
Me: A little more strength in the “h” and you’ve got it.
Alien: Ah, okay. Well, I have a few questions, do you mind if I ask?
Me: Not at all, ask away!
Alien:I don’t mean to offend your race when I ask this but are your towns created based on the color that wraps your body in such heavenly shades?
Me: You mean…my skin color?
Alien: I suppose, yes. Your skin color, Human.
Me:Well, maybe but everything all goes unsaid.
Alien: What do you mean?
Me: There are no rules that state people of a paler color need to stay in their own confined areas. There are no laws that states people of a darker color need to remain in their own world.
Alien: Then why do you all live so differently?
Me: I don’t believe we do.
Alien: As a foreign species, observing this Earth from a far point of perspective, I would say you do.
Me: And why is that?
Alien: My first night on Earth, I soared just above the buildings, just inches between the roofs and the bottom of my ship. I saw very different characteristics of each town as I flew, almost as if I was flying through a calendar or pressing fast forward on the seasons. I did not know two towns could be so different, one with people of a darker color, projecting a colder feel like winter compared to the town over, a more settled civilization,less color, a pale shade of skin, giving off a more summer like feel.
Me: Thats a strange way to put it.
Alien: And then…and then I realized something.
Me: And that would be?
Alien:One town struggled to light their own flame, using graffiti to put strength and color into their land. The other town has houses of vibrant colors that did not need graffiti. They seemed more…of wealth?
Me: Possibly. I don’t see where you are going with this.
Alien: The language, the feel, the touch of a human being is so different from one and other if they are raised in such different environments. I’m not implying that they can not see eye to eye but I am simply confused how one race of color could be so different from the other?
Me: Ah, it’s rooted in our ancestors, grounded in our pasts. Freedom has become something new but some things never fade, even in the unconscious mind. We do not intend to be racist,but others do. Racism needs to be forgotten, lost at the bottom of the ocean but how do we dismiss the horrid behavior if we teach it’s history to our youth?
Alien: I see…so in ways, racism, differentiation still exists but in a different way in today’s world?
Me: I would say so. Skin stays with skin. We naturally follow the path that leads to more comfort for us as individuals, this creates a divided feel among everyone. We can’t forget about this.
Alien: I wish you humans could see your stupidity.
Me: Excuse me?
Alien: Your species lives on a rock in the middle of space and you worry about what makes you different when in the end, your anatomies are both the same, are they not? If not, they are fairly similar. You are all one race. So why the different towns? Why the different sentence structure? Why?
Me: I…I don’t know.
Alien: You humans worry too much of the past, drenched in hatred, not all but some. Consciously and unconsciously. Look to your neighbor, to the town over and tell me you do not see the same eyes, the same eyes full of passion for life, Human.
Me: I can’t. I will see the same eyes.
Alien: Exactly, Human. Make a change. Learn how to paint on street walls with love, teach how to sing, learn how to play a game, teach how to write poetry. Share passion, no matter the color, no matter the town border, no matter the life.
Me: Thank you for this.
Alien: I bid you a beautiful farewell, Human.