30 Stories in 30 Days #10 – “A Bitter Man Can Dream”
A Bitter Man Can Dream
Cameras clicked as the short, balding man stepped up to the podium. He was flanked by the Selection Committee Chairperson Marylise Decazes, who stepped to the side. The man gave a quick smile and said, “Hi. Um, my name is Gregory Sanders. I have just been told by Madame Decazes that out of some ten thousand applicants, I have been selected by the aliens to be their ‘connection’ to humanity.”
Every reporter raised a hand and shouted a question. Almost immediately, Madame Decazes stepped forward and said, “Please, there will be time for questions afterward.” After a few seconds, the room quieted. Madame Decazes nodded and said, “Thank you.” She then stepped back and with a hand on his shoulder led Gregory back to the podium.
Gregory wiped some tears from his eyes. “This is … I mean, I never thought that aliens would make contact with us during my lifetime. And even if they did, never in my wildest dreams did I think I would have any interaction with them. Now here I am, chosen to live on their ship to try to explain the confusing aspects of humanity to them and learning about them in the process. This is – without doubt – the greatest day of my life. I mean,” he put his hand to his chest and continued, “I might be having a heart attack right now, but I’m so pumped up on endorphins I don’t think I would notice.”
All the reporters and Madame Decazes chuckled at that.
After opening and closing his mouth a couple of times, Gregory added, “I don’t know what else to say. Um, I guess I can start taking questions-”
Again every reporter raised a hand and shouted a question.
Holding up his hand, Gregory said, “But first, sorry, um.” He looked down at the podium and smiled. He shook his head and chuckled. Looking back up he said, “I wasn’t going to do this, not wanting to besmirch the dignity of the moment, but I’m too happy to care and I’m never going to get this chance again. Before I take your questions, I just have a message for all the women who have turned me down over the years.” With a wide smile, Gregory threw his head back and let out a deep, rolling laugh.