I shouldn't be telling this story, not because it isn't worthy of telling, but because no one will believe me. I could pass it off as fiction, a wild flight of fancy by a second-rate journalist who has aspirations of being a novelist, but that won't get me very far either. I don't think my job or the community newspaper I've been at for a decade is going to be around very much longer, so what the hell. Maybe I'll write this story and send it off to some sci-fi magazine or if I'm feeling especially mischievous, a romance magazine, but I'm getting ahead of myself.
I must admit that the walls between our apartments are on the thin side and while I never heard any music or television sounds, there were voices and odd sounds, odd difficult to describe sounds. Especially when his woman friend was over. She wasn't what I'd call lovely or pretty, but she certainly was intriguing looking. I assumed she was a weightlifter, her arms and legs had impressive definition, exuded strength. She did have dazzling legs. What I wouldn't give to be as strong-looking as she was. The only time I heard conversations was when she was over and the last time it was laughter, loud laughter, but I'm getting too far ahead of myself. And I'm repeating myself and not making a lot of sense. I'll take a deep metaphoric breath and get on with the story.
The man in the apartment across from me, I should reveal upfront, is from a distant planet that I can't even pronounce, all consonants and guttural sounds, like a desperate cry of help. He told me all this earlier today, crying his eyes out, or what approximated crying. Tear ducts aren't really part of his equipment. This creature from a distant planet, until today, disguised as a handsome figure of how we appear, a little taller than average, certainly taller than me, a smile that would disarm you on the spot, and I'm not much of a smiler, even at the best of times, for fifty Earth years revealed his visage and identity to no one, he told me, not to world leaders or the humblest denizens and was able to walk about seamlessly, he explained, seeking information and insights, adhering to immutable instructions from the severe and demanding authorities who had selected him as the first to visit Earth and held from even so far away the power to extinguish the creature's life and form.
The creature, I don't know what else to call him, is sad and drowning in melancholy and an Earthlike madness formerly inconceivable, not from missing his home planet or disoriented by the harsh pretence of fifty day after day falsified Earth years, but having fallen in love against all instructions, mutating the immutable from the stern and demanding authorities and showing his true visage to the Earth woman who had redefined the galaxy for him, isn't that the ultimate in the romantic, and upon seeing his disguise disappear, authenticity on display in sudden honesty, she laughed and laughed, then revealing she too was from another planet, not a desired yet prohibited Earth woman and this lovestruck creature was a carbon copy so to speak of the eternally mocked animal that inhabits her planet's vile peripheral region where two hideous moons overshadow all - isn't that the strangest coincidence imaginable, she said, then reverting to her own language, words that frightened more than saddened but the laughter was universal.
I guess that's all of the story I want to tell now. Maybe I can figure out a better way to tell it, and perhaps make a few bucks. I'm going to need the money, what with my job and the newspaper about to evaporate. Maybe a little honesty is in order here, not that I was all that honest with my neighbour or his incredible muscular object of affection, but I'm not from this planet either, not originally, but I've been on Earth so long, eons really, that I consider myself one of them. Oh well, no one is going to believe me unless I show them photographs of the creature. As for me, you can't tell the difference between me and the people on Earth, unless you look deep inside my heart. Then, just then, you might be able to tell the difference.