Author: Ken Poyner

Stoyan looks down at the broken glass.

“You would be this awkward if you had six legs,” he says.

And I probably would be. No matter what else, this host-an-alien program is proving a way to expand perceptions. I am learning oh so much. Stoyan is teaching me all about awkward. He wouldn’t say clumsy, oh self-consciously no, but he would admit awkward.

Mina two doors down is hosting a gas-based visitor. Most of the day he spends swirling about in his translucent orb, tapping out short messages, emitting revelations about the universe he seems to think Mina would love to know. At night, he lets himself out, is sustained in the ambient air pressure as a string of glittering vapor. He quietly had been having sex with Mina in her sleep for two weeks before she knew it, if you want to call what he does with her sex. Now that she knows, she hasn’t attempted to stop him. She doesn’t quite yet know how she can, or whether she should.

Stroyan is waiting for me to sweep up the glass. This is the second breakage this week. All the while, Mina and I and others in the guest program catalog what each visiting alien species can and cannot do, which bends and folds they cannot accomplish, what corners befuddle them, what passions drive them. When they finally get comfortable, settle into an accommodating niche, that will be our time to strike.