Author: Kathleen Bryson
You had been murmuring in your sleep about a particular breed of polygon for weeks, but – you being you – you never wanted to talk about it over breakfast.
Isoceles, I wondered, woken beside you and your apnea machine, sirens sliding like butter outside, eliding so you couldn’t tell stops or starts, what does he mean? It was the eighth time the ambulance concertos had returned. I closed windows at night and had done so since April 2020; I couldn’t bear the dark scratchy sirens.
We had been walking – be-masked, be-goggled – along the canals when you finally chirped up after an entire month of polygon-sleep-talking. And you only spilled the beans because we both saw the shining triangles flicker on the water, and the materiality of them was inescapable.
Your index finger had a trigonometry of its own.
They were technically pyramids, the glory of 3D, but I didn’t point this out. I chose my battles during this extended, shaky time. The grim pandemic dissection had leapt on in vitro as the months became a year, then eighteen months, then the three and a half years in which we currently found ourselves floundering. 2024. Can you fucking believe it. I certainly can’t.
But I believed in these veil shapes hovering above the water, glimmering like rivers and then darting up straight in the sky and breaking all known laws of physics. The shapes had been in mainstream news. Not drones but alien spaceships. Obama gave a UFO interview to the New York Times about it. The Pentagon released the files and the videos. We knew what they were.
We gazed at the glistening pyramids that finally, mercifully, disappeared into rare air. No one else walked along the canal path, and with a measles-infectiousness level of airborne eighty-three feet in the latest variant, that was good.
“Scalene,” you said.
“I always liked that word,” I said.
“You’re being obtuse.”
“More a pyramid shape,” I said at last, as I’d been itching to do. You rightfully ignored me.
“I’ve got,” you said, “a hypothesis about them. All these pyramids showing up,” you continued, self-correcting, “all the UFO press releases. They’ve got it all wrong.”
“You know this, how?”
Your eyes skimmed over poplars mirrored, but the triangles weren’t there.
“What are they then? Russian military, Chinese, US special-ops?” In 2008, I once saw twelve black helicopters land like spiders on a Portland skyscraper.
“They’re humans,” you said, “the time travelers we’ve been waiting for. Our species, the future. The blurry sparkles are just them messing with dimensions, they haven’t fine-tuned the trips yet; we can see their marks. Tourists. Rich posh kids. History students doing MAs. They’re coming back to a historical time to sightsee the pandemic, which is why reports have shot up since early 2020. And now even more.”
The triangles were back, the teepees on the water. That’s when you grabbed for my hand and rubbed my knuckles and you kissed me. It was so good to feel your face, it always was during this time with endless masks. And you kissed me again. You said, “I think more sightings because something even bigger is going to happen, more terrible and historical than even a pandemic; I don’t mean to trouble you,” you said, we watched the pyramids lick once more the water.
“I wonder what the tourists think of us at this very moment. Doomed and tragic?”
“Let’s give them a show,” you said. There was a charming light in your eyes, a reflection off the moving waters. And I kissed you back, a cool prim smooch.