Back in 2011 when I was living in Bangalore I shared a room with an old school mate of mine. He was quite a normal fellow except for a few peculiar “Alien” traits & behaviors.
Visually he would stand out owing to unnaturally pale skin (which I suspect is his human suit) and an exceptionally large head (this was confirmed when he went to buy a helmet, they dint have a size or shape that fit him). This oversized head would bob uncontrollably from side to side during his walks (fast paced & accurately placed strides) which ironically appeared as a poor imitation of the natural homosapien walk. Another little quirk was his obsession with his keys (they probably opened doors to an intergalactic spaceway or just dirty alien underwear) and had them chained to his body at all times; although practical, it made him sound like an old bicycle when he ran or jogged up some stairs.
Then there are the many bizarre morning rituals which I would awaken to, the first being the image of a silent and still being; staring at tiny dot on a mirror, kneeling like the Japanese “Seiza” sitting position on a cushion. His palms resting on his thighs and eyes staring intently at the dot with utmost concentration but with a calm expression on his face (like he was taking the most relaxing dump of his life). I imagine he was telepathically communicating through the reflective portal which bridges vast planetary distances, but we both acted as if it was a meditation exercise.
The rituals progressed into much stranger ones, this second one was a bit disturbing (mentally) for me because of the visuals and noises involved. There lay a gigantic ritualistic bottle beside the bed which would be filled with water and then I would simply gape open-mouthed as he chugged it all down like an ogre downing some magical potion. He would then turn his spell cast, satisfied face; eyeballs swimming randomly independent of each other in watery pools and calmly walk over to the bathroom and regurgitate it all. The whole thing was unsettling but then he would just wash his face and instantly give off an expression which can only be interpreted as “DAILY INTERNAL WASHING OF HUMAN SUIT: CHECK “.
He always had a practical way of looking at things, if you wanted an emotionless and completely mechanical solution to any problem or situation; all you had to do was feed him the variables and he would output the most pragmatic fix for them. Things were always black and white for him and anything grey that did not compute was quickly and promptly pointed out and questioned with utmost curiosity.
He walked, talked and socially behaved like his interface badly needed an update and upgrade of human emotions, but one thing which I will never forget is his stupidly happy grin and baby laugh. Even the smallest and silliest jokes (fart jokes and butt jokes included) would cause him to erupt into uncontrollable giggles and every time he would see a familiar face a happy-go-lucky grin would burst on to an otherwise pale and placid face.
It just goes to show that fart jokes and butt jokes transcend planetary boundaries and a happy familiar face is always welcome. I never thought I would miss those weird antics of his, but here I am feeling nostalgic while writing about the Martian.