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Knowing when it’s time to move


We aliens are nomadic. We don’t really have a home anywhere. Wherever we stop for more than two weeks is home. That’s why we’re good at our jobs.

We’ve been stationed in our current home for a decade now. Before that, we were home in another place for a decade. And so on and so forth.

We build a place, or fix up a place, and make it nice for ourselves. By the time we’re done making it nice, we tire of it. and we move somewhere else. It’s happened that way for the last few homes, so when we took up residence in the jungle, I teased darling wife that when we finished making the place pretty, it would be time to move again. She denied it heatedly. This is our forever home, she said. (Until we are recalled back to the Martian Empire, of course. In which case, the next pair of observers will take our place.)

Yesterday she admitted that she is tired of the jungle. She is tired of the heat, tired of the insects, tired of the mold and mildew, and especially tired of the tourists from the Northeast. The tourists are extremely unpleasant. They live crammed together in a concrete box, and it drives them insane. So when they come to vacation in the jungle, they are all snarling teeth and claws, tearing at each other and everyone around them. Darling wife grows weary of them.

I admitted that I miss trees and mountains and snow and wind. We have plenty of wind and mountains on Mars, but no trees and very little snow. I like those things on this planet. I don’t mind the heat and the insects and the mold, and the tourists are tolerable if you entertain yourself by thinking of ways to kill them.

Darling wife was gratified to know that I am not opposed to finding a different home in a cooler place with trees and mountains and no insects or mold or nasty tourists.

Like the lion who stays in the cage as long as he knows the door is open, though, darling wife will probably be comfortable in our current home for awhile. Because knowing that you can leave makes it easier to stay.

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