“Who are you?” I asked. I sipped my Guinness beer. I set the half-full glass down on a white paper coaster. “I’m Rob.”
“I’m David, you know, Biblical,“ he said. He wore a long sleeved, hooded brown tunic that covered his wide-shouldered, husky-frame; it draped him down to just above his leather sandals. “Thank God it’s a cool night, you know, this things rather warm. A bit moist, if you will.”
“Whoa, buddy,” Jane said. She had walked over toward the Moon’s Snug section, a rectangular space at the top of the long bar, where I sat on a wooden chair with a back rest. “What can I get you?”
“You look like something out a Far-Side cartoon,” I said. I tapped my right hand on the bar. “Very creative, impressive, how’d you come up with it?”
“Oh, I’m doing Halloween as Lamech,” David said. He pulled his hood back to reveal his round face, and his balding head. He spoke to me in a clear, crisp British accent. “Father of Noah, but he’s actually the offspring from Eve and Satan’s copulation, you know, that produced, Cain.”
“What, ever, dude,” Jane said. “Drink?”
“Sorry, I’ll have a Boddington’s,” David said. He scratched his pug nose with a long, pointy fake fingernail. “And keep them coming, mate.”
“Roger that,” Jane said. She smirked over at me, and she quickly moved down the bar alley.
I sat studying David’s face. I sipped the Guinness beer.
“It’s the eyes?” David asked. He stared at me. “A bit creepy? I heard that from many of my colleagues at Alien-con this year.”
“Yeah, how’d you make them so big, and round,” I said. I moved my left hand in an air circle. “Sorry, I didn’t dress up this year, didn’t get invited to a party.”
Jane returned with the drink order, she set it near David.
“Sort of Obi-Wan Kenobi mated with Gollum,” Jane said. She grinned. “Here you go, this one’s on me, you win best costume.”
“Nor did I, thank you, it’s what I remember him looking like,” David said. He reached forward for the beer mug being careful not to snap a fake fingernail. “I take Halloween quite seriously, mostly out of respect.”
I leaned back against the bar. I had assumed that he was a man, as I searched for an Adam’s apple.
“I think I’ve seen you here before,” I said.
“I’ve discovered St. Petersburg, a hidden jewel, like me,” David said. He sipped the beer and set it back down. “I’m here frequently, but, I do travel quite a bit, you know, domestic, but out there, as well.”
“Cool,” I said. “I like it here, it’s a chill place.”
“Agreed,” David said. “Rob, are you a man of faith?”
“Ah,” I said. I sipped the Guinness beer for protection. “I’m not sure what you’re asking.”
David pointed at me with a long, sharp fingernail.
“I sensed I’ve met you before,” David said. “In a former life?”
“I’ve only been here,” I said. “On, planet earth.”
“Yes, you’re a skeptic,” David said. He smiled as he closely observed me, as if I were an innocent laboratory primate. “Trick question, and all. I sensed you.”
“That’s a fair assessment,” I said. I shrugged. “I guess.”
David moved toward me.
“What if I were to, tell you,” David said. He glanced behind me, and slightly turned to investigate the busy dining room. “I’m an ancient astronaut, this is not really a costume, it is for me, tonight, but it’s for the celebration of Samhain, mind you, but for the others, that visit me from time to time.”
“Are you kidding with me?” I said. “Samhain?”
“No,” David said. “I can prove it, it’s a Celtic celebration. But then Pope Gregory, the Druids, so forth… it was ruined, it’s all so obvious to those like me.”
Perhaps the sensation to remain quiet comes only from age and experiences, perhaps a bit of sprinkled in alcohol grains allowed for the adventure to continue.
“I’m all in,” I said. I was thankful I could see David’s hands, and we were within a busy, well-lit bar and restaurant.
“You think it’s luck that I magically won the lotto?” David said. “I don’t share that fact often, four hundred million, U S, it was as if it were meant to happen.”
“Seriously?” I said. For an odd reason, I was certain I was being told the truth. Or, my free-will was about to get lured into a Jim Jones cool-aid tasting contest.
“It was my therapist, really,” David said. He sipped his beer. “She discovered my past, I cannot thank her enough. I had been abducted and well, abused by a group of aliens.”
David had turned his gaze out toward the front windows, and he appeared to have wistfully watched the tourist traffic cycle past the Moon.
“You okay?” I asked.
“Never better,” David said. “I go back in time, from time to time. It’s something I’ve learned to live with.”
“Sorry,” I said. “But, you seem to have gotten past the trauma.”
“Not really,” David said. He turned and looked at me. “My DNA was altered, I’m chimeric, my therapist thinks it’s the fact I’m Rh negative, the real reason they come to harvest.”
David stared past me. And then he looked down at the carpeted floor. He pursed his lips.
“Sorry,” I said. “What reason?”
“They use me,” David said. “They come, I’m paralyzed, you know, I see them, the Grey’s, that’s why I costumed like this, this is what they look like, and of course, the ancients, before Noah.”
“Wow,” I said.
“They use my DNA for reproduction, we think,” David said. He dismissively shook his head at the main rooms dinner guests. “These people, near us, are completely unaware, they are slowly being altered, generation-to-generation.”
“Are you messing with me?” I said. I smirked at David. “If so, you’re good, really, really good.”
David snapped his head up, he stared directly at me, and he stood up like a solider.
“I’m quite serious,” David said. He brushed at his shoulders with the back of his hands. “The reason I live on the top floor of my building, I bought all the penthouses.”
“Seriously?” I said.
“Quite,” David said. “It gives them better access to me without a lot of notice. A portal opens, and there they are, I cannot stop them, would you?”
“Sorry,” I said. “My brain’s to small to process this…”
“Yes,” David said. “I can understand, it was a lot for me, at first, but now, I have a duty.”
Jane hesitantly leaned across the bar.
“Want to see a menu?” Jane asked. “Or, not…”
David shrugged, he dismissed Jane with a wave of his left hand.
“No thank you, I travel when I’m called upon,” David said. “It’s my destiny, to be an astronaut.”
I crossed my arms, and I held my breath.
“Congratulations,” I said. “You solved your life’s riddle.”
“Indeed,” David said. He carefully straightened his tunic with his fingers. “Time travel seems almost, shall I say this, pedestrian these days.”
“Don’t break a nail,” I said.
“Such the cynic, Rob,” David said.
“I don’t judge,” I said. I looked down the bar toward Jane who was suspiciously nearby investigating her mobile phone screen. “Who am I to tell someone how to live.”
“But you do judge,” David said. “It’s in your eyes, your amused expression, yes, I notice all.”
I thought I had learned many years before not to let anyone else know what I was thinking. It was my method to keep control during family conflict, it was my method to figure out how to have survived. But that night, I had failed in my process.
“Fair enough,” I said. “Why Lamech? Why so specific?”
David pressed his fingers and thumbs together like an ancient Chinese wiseman.
“Because I’ve met him,” David said. “I told you I’m an ancient astronaut, this is not just some crazy theory.”
“I, I,” I said. “Didn’t expect that, but I guess I did.”
“He was the descendent from Cain, who killed Abel,” David said. “I suspect you’re Protestant, and went to Sunday School?”
“But you met him?” I asked. After I had spoken the question, I realized I could not have jumped off the crazy train that was about to pick up speed. “I mean…”
“I’m not an old soul,” David said. “That’s an infantile concept, but, without my control, I travel, in space and time.”
“Traveled to Kashmir?” I asked.
“The Zeppelin fan?” Jane asked me. “Another?”
“Yes,” I said. I had not turned to look at Jane. “I beg you, I’ll have another.”
“Such a funny man, Rob,” David said. “I have so much more to reveal, but, you’re the cynical one, the non-believer.”
“Well, I guess you’re right,” I said. “Guilty. But tell me more, I’m interested, seriously.”
“At least your honest,” David said. He nodded as he looked up at the antiqued tin ceiling tiles. “When I need rest, I take my medications, it seems to block them from coming. But, then, I allow them to return, I feel it’s my duty, for humanity.”
“Have you ever met God?” I asked.
David grunted at me. He shook his head.
“Yes,” David said. “Quite the elusive one. No, I have never had a formal meeting with what you would define as, God.”
“I’m just curious,” I said.
“But, Satan? Your next question,” David said. “Yes, I’ve been in its presence, it’s a darkness I cannot fully comprehend. But, the reason I take what you call, Halloween, quite seriously.”
“I have nothing,” I said.
“I don’t disrespect the darkness, that’s my point,” David said. “When I travel, in my mind, as a portal opens, I sometimes sense them, nearby, watching me.”
I sat there on a wooden chair inside the Moon, and I wondered what it was like to have been David, to live every moment within his comfortable madness, to view his existence through a filtered lens.
“I will pray for your safety,” I said.
“Another Boddington’s?” Jane asked David.
“Yes, good man,” David said.
“Why do you drink Boddington’s?” I asked.
“Good question,” David said. “Because Boddington’s takes me home, I’m never alone when I taste a Boddington’s.”