Human beings can be odd if given half a chance. Even if given a quarter of a chance.
For example, a lot of humans believe that we have been visited by aliens. A few humans believe that aliens are among us right now.
A lot of us may have seen proof.
Some of those aliens reside in Courthouse Park, some along Gateway Drive and I’ve seen a few who are habitue’s of 6th Street west of Gateway.
I remember one fellow who used to stand on the corner of Yosemite and Gateway, waving a Bible. He would yell out at the top of his lungs such things as “Praise Jesus!” and “Prepare for the End.” He seemed to be able to hear voices, because every once in a while he would stop yelling and cock an ear toward the sky.
Passersby would give him a wide birth, be it day or night. Some motorists would roll up their windows, but I don’t think there was anything to be afraid of from him.
I once walked past him, stopped in front of him and introduced myself.
“Hello,” I said, and gave him my name.
“Praise Jesus,” he said, looking me in the eye. I asked him his name, and he told me what it was, but I have forgotten.
It wasn’t afterward that he disappeared from that corner and open up shop on another, a little further west along Yosemite. A busy missionary. Pretty soon he disappeared altogether.
“I know that guy,” said a friend of mine. He’s been around for quite awhile. I think he’s from Mars.”
That got me to thinking that maybe he is from Mars — a missionary from Mars, trapped down here on Earth, sort of like E.T. was trapped. Maybe he’s looking for a phone he can dial for help from Mars.
That was several years ago, when the newspaper office was at 7th and E streets and I walked more than I do now.
The latest Martian is named Fabian, and he wanders in the rush hour traffic on 6th Street — you’ve probably seen him if you drive down there with any frequency. A friend of mine almost ran him down.
The friend’s wife said, “If he isn’t careful, he’ll be part of the asphalt on the pavement.”
But think about this: Fabian (that is his name) may be from Mars. He has Martian-like capabilities. He never hits a car. He just sort of careens around them. The car drivers watch out for him, too.
Sometimes, he will crawl up on the fence of the bridge that takes 6th Street traffic over the 99. He will hang on for dear life and shout at the traffic below.
The police, with great kindness, watch out for him, and have had to pick him up a few times for his own safety.
Actually, they watch out for most of the Martians in this town, the visitors who wander around wondering where in the universe they are.
God bless those Martians, and God bless the earthly cops who watch out for them.
Maybe some day, when some of us travel to Mars, a kind officer on that planet will watch out for us, keeping us from being harmed, and keeping us from harming others.