Celia’s ninth birthday party was to be held on Saturday. She prayed all night Friday, the way she had been taught in Sunday school, that aliens would appear along with her family and school friends at her party.
Her parents organized a barbecue for the adults, with lots of chilled beer, and a bouncy house for the kids and a clown who doubled as a children’s face painter. There were hot dogs, burgers, potato salad, coleslaw, and a confetti cake with ice cream.
It was a hot day. Celia ate half a hot dog and two pieces of cake, allowed the stupid clown to paint her face so she looked like a tiger, jumped intently in the bouncy house, and later she puked into the downstairs toilet, just barely making it. She was nine now, so she cleaned up the rim of the toilet and sprayed the room with some Glade, Lavender Spring fragrance.
Aliens did not appear in the sky and lower their aircraft into Celia’s family’s back garden. She started to have doubts about the existence of God.
But then, her Uncle Fred drank something pink out of a flask that he brought. He had the clown paint his face so he looked like a Frankenstein pirate. Then he used his cigarette to pop all the blue and white balloons that attached to the fence and the eaves. He told Celia late in the afternoon that she would be better off being a lesbian. She knew what a lesbian was. She was nine now.
The aliens, Celia thought, are among us.