As Albert walked toward the dock, a sense of excitement overwhelmed him. He had never been on his own. He wasn’t worried about being duped or taken advantage of because he didn’t trust anyone in the first place. He was worried about being beaten up because he was tiny. Albert was 5’2”, 132 lbs. He was not large.
He was wondering if he would be able to get a job on a boat because of his size. He wasn’t going to be able to lift a lot of weight or carry heavy crates or do anything bordering on manual labor. He was thinking he should be Captain. He could create a resume to look like he had been everywhere and done everything. But he didn’t want to do that. He wanted to live as a common earthling for a while. He wanted to prove to himself that he was, indeed, better than them. He was looking for empirical evidence of his superiority.
He would get a job at the bottom and work his way up.
He would start as a deck hand. He would paint rails and scrub floors. He would peel potatoes and eat gruel. He would do all the things a spoiled space child would not do on a normal day and he would hate it. The hate would make him want to do something else, anything else. He figured it was the shitty jobs that made you want to chase after a better one.
But first he had to grow a beard.
That was going to hurt. His face would feel like Indian burn for a week and his gills would scab over for a couple of days, but that is the price you pay for running away. Better to have an Indian burn than hunger pains. He was going to be a sailor and he needed to look the part. He stepped into a pharmacy grabbed some salt and a pair of scissors and went into the bathroom. He changed out of his khakis and polo shirt into a pair of jeans, work boots and a pocket t-shirt. He then poured salt in his gills and screamed.
The clerk at the counter woke up. The scream he heard was not quite earthly. It was the scream of a siren, but he had no desire to go check it out. He was a forty seven year old, hen pecked father of two teenaged daughters. He had downsized form a terrible cubical job and all he could find was an equally terrible retail job. He had a large life insurance policy, he knew that if he was killed in seeking the source of that scream, his family would be set and his suffering could come to an end.
He didn’t move.
He did that out of spite.
He knew that his wife had a job far worse than him. She had to go back to work as a special education teacher. She taught this one brat named Albert who made him so happy. He would never deprive himself of hearing her henpecked by this terd sandwich of a kid. He would let the scream go. He wasn’t being paid enough to do anything else. So he sat there and looked at the bathroom door as a weird bearded guy walked out of it. He waited ten minutes and walked into the bathroom. It wasn’t as bad as he had feared. Sure, there was a big pile of a powdery white substance, but that could be a plus.
He was very disappointed when he found out it was salt.
It took him a couple of days to realize that a little boy had walked into the bathroom and a bearded man had walked out. It was the police that had pointed that out to him. They were looking for a lost little boy named Albert who had come in during his shift. Where had he gone? The police asked him question after question and they kept coming back. This missing boy was turning what was a job into work and he was not pleased. That little boy had now ruined his job as well. Where had he gone? Little blonde kid walked in the Bathroom, a breaded man walked out. The only change in the bathroom was a pile of salt, and now a pile of cops.