In the summer of 2009 I had an experience of another trip to the Earth. Surprisingly, it was too much different from the one I had in the past, so different like if I visited another planet and another world. I realized how the Earth had changed its face. I was shocked by the way people had gotten different. What I observed then I would never be able to forget.
My trip was basically motivated by curiosity. It’s not that I had missed the Earth too much. But in fact, I did really have some sort of nostalgia for the days I spent in desert many years ago. The problem was I couldn’t recollect how I previously reached the place of my short stay on the planet of Earth, so I decided to take a risk and just to land somewhere were the asteroid will get me. I decided to set off at night, at the dark time of the day, in order not to get myself noticed before I would be able to find my bearings. No need to say I was torn between excitement and between fears of doing something wrong or discovering something I would rather not. Anyway, all the needed preparations were done, and my asteroid and I headed for the Earth.
After travelling for a while through the eternal darkness of an outer space, I finally reached Earth. Imagine my astonishment, when instead of darkness I remember to fall on the planet at night, I saw a spot of brightly shining light. Hundreds of lights were making up a radiating area on the top of the planet. They were so wonderfully bright, that it seemed like this very piece of the surface of Earth had somehow refused to have night at all. The sight was truly amazing, yet I was far from understanding what was really going on there, so in order to avoid any sort of unwilling consequences I decided to land not on the spot, yet somewhere not far from it.
And so I touched down. To my great delight, the area I found myself at was some sort of a desert. It was different however from the one I lived in during my previous visit to Earth. I found no sand, and the plants looked absolutely unfamiliar. It was extremely hot and the air was dry. I looked around and all I could see was a desolate, craggy landscape. However, I turned all my attention to the distant spots of bright light that I had noticed while approaching Earth. They were attracting me and I couldn’t resist the temptation. I decided that if I approached them from the side, I would prevent myself from getting into much trouble. At least I could observe those wonders from a distance and decide whether it was safe to come closer.
And so I set off. I walked for about 15 minutes, and then stood still in amazement. What I saw was greater than anything I could imagine before. “A City of Light” I said to myself and that was how I have used to call it in future. There was some fantastic inscription being up in the air, gleaming with beautiful colorful lights. It said: Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas Nevada. Consequently I found out that “Las Vegas” was the name of the city. Yet at the very moment I saw those wonderfully shining words I could only ask myself how could it be that the words were hanging in the air. The question was an intriguing one, and I would enjoy finding the answer out, but I just couldn’t stop myself from moving forward.
The city was alive like if there was no night indeed. People were crowding at the streets. I had never before seen such a great number of people. Their faces were radiating excitement and fervor; they were talking and laughing loudly creating a strange sound background, like if the city had a voice on its own, a roaring, buzzing, humming and whirring voice. The bizarre shining creatures of various colors and shapes were rushing along the streets, moving extremely quickly and adding to the overall noise. Those were called “cars”, as I found out later.
No need to say, I was shocked. And scared to death by the way. I remember myself feeling depressingly lonely and lost when wondering in the desert many years ago, with a few friends to help me to overcome my loneliness. I remember I was astonished by the size of Earth, since I could never reach high enough to be able to observe the whole planet. However, what I experienced than was ridiculously small and insignificant in comparison to what I observed and felt this time.
Everything was either too big, or too bright, or moving too fast. Being at first astonished by the brightness of the city, I eventually found it ugly. It seemed to me that everything I saw was meant to impress and to take a breath away at the first glance. However, there was no true meaning in all those chaotic moves and numerous buildings. When finding myself a little bit less confused, and when getting gradually used to that never-ending rush and noise, I tried to talk to someone for a couple of times. I wanted to know what all those people were doing in there, why they were moving so fast, and where they were rushing. However, the noise was so great and they all were so busy that I could never manage to make anyone hear me. Once I even followed one man when he was entering one of the buildings. I saw even bigger crowds of people; they were talking and laughing even louder than those I saw on the streets. They all seemed to be involved in some exciting activity, yet I didn’t get what was the meaning of it. They were dealing with some numerous small objects, yet they appeared meaningless to me. I left, because I started to feel sick over the meaninglessness of all that excitement.
Once again I was wandering aimlessly through the crowded streets, when I saw a young girl who attracted my attention. The girl was very elegant and smartly dressed, yet her face was rather weird and unnatural, like if it was a face of a doll with her lips, eyes and cheeks painted with colors too bright for such a nice young face. Nevertheless, she was beautiful and I liked her since she seemed to have kind, considerate eyes. With all the courage I had left, I decided to talk to the girl and to finally obtain some information about the place I happened to be at. So I approached the girl and asked her whether she could help me and tell me where I was. She looked at me in surprise, watching my clothes attentively and finally asked: “Are you lost, baby?” What was I to say to that? I both did and did not get lost, and I knew there was no way I could explain her where I had come from and what was my purpose on Earth. “No, I did not”, I replied. “Could you please tell me what this place is?” I decided to repeat the question in order to emphasize its significance, yet she seemed not to notice. “Are you some sort of street clown, honey?” she asked with a smile, looking curiously at my bright blue cloak and golden stars on the shoulders. I didn’t know what the “street clown” could mean, so I decided not to answer. Realizing that the girl would never answer my questions until satisfying her own curiosity, and being as well irritated by her over-familiarity, I decided to leave. I thanked her, turned away and kept on walking, turning round from time to time and watching how she was smiling broadly and insincerely to the passing men.
I started to feel tired, both physically and emotionally. I started to miss the friends I had when living in the desert. I didn’t meet a single animal when wandering through the city. Not a single bird was sitting on those artificially planted trees. The air was heavy with weird disgusting gases probably emitted by those amazing “cars”. I couldn’t see the stars because the buildings were too high and their light distorted the field of vision. There it seemed like if the sky did not exist at all, and I felt myself trapped, ceasing to feel myself a part of the Universe. The feeling was awfully distressing, and I started to despair of ever finding a place of rest anywhere. I wanted my volcanoes, my rose and even my hateful baobab trees to be here with me, to remind me of home and peace I used to feel when travelling on my asteroid through the outer space. I was still curious to find out the meaning of that amazing place, yet I wanted to get home much more, so I started to search for a way back.
I always had a good memory, my head wasn’t clogged up with superfluous information, so I didn’t have too much difficulties recollecting my way through the city. I turned back, passing once again all the places I had visited during that crazy night. When I passed the place where the beautiful curious girl was previously standing, I couldn’t find her anymore, she disappeared, and I felt sad not being able to observe her beauty once again. In an hour or two I reached the place of my landing. I turned round to watch “The City of Light” once again. I didn’t amaze me anymore, in fact, I felt rather happy to get out of it. The light it was radiating turned out to be totally artificial, and I had always hated artificial things. I waved my hand to the image of lonely beautiful girl, the only person in the city with the kind considerate eyes I had found, and set off on my way home. And however repulsive the city of Las Vegas turned out to be for my tender, sensitive soul, I will never forget it, since, I have to confess, it did really captured my imagination.
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