Versione Italiana

di Andrea Cafarella

Illustration by: Pablo Martinez

Sububudu: the saddest alien of all the galaxies


Sububudu was the saddest alien of all the galaxies. Much more intelligent than any other form of life he had ever encountered, he was the only one of his species and he was overwhelmed by the sorrow. He was immortal and condemned to live forever and he had never found anyone with whom he could share his sadness. He usually cut through the space travelling with and at the same speed of the light and he explored different planets looking for someone who could understand his ill will. With his mellifluous body, he had crossed three quarters of the universe and seen incredible creatures but not a single one who could understand him. He used to carry a big knife with him all the time and he always threatened to end it all. However, there was still that quarter of unexplored space that kept his hopes up and made it impossible for him to surrender.

The Burulun were the first creatures he met during his interstellar travel and they gave him his funny name. These organisms were similar to ant eaters and were able to communicate in a very complex way – but surely not as complexly as Sububudu. They did not manage to express deep emotions and could not understand the loneliness because they live in packs, they sleep and eat together and they simply don’t know what means to be alone. Since then, he had explored luxuriant planets like the Earth, yet dominated by enormous cold blood reptiles, entire ice expanses covered in clever and ecologically developed lichens yet unable to identify emotions, to hug or understand the marginalisation and the loneliness. He also got to know the green planet where there are plants and an ever growing eco-balanced forest. He was very far away when absent-mindedly he bumped into a satellite and through its radio waves he managed to establish a link with the Earth and with us. He intercepted our televisions, our mobile phones and computers. He knew everything about everyone.

He was still crossing the sky of an incredibly blue world which he still failed to understand if it was called Earth, America or New York but he had already realised that there, on that far away planet, he could live happily. Many people know what loneliness means down here and so he expected us to understand him very well finally. So he spent time looking at those huge and alien fin whales swimming in that immense ocean full of delicious plankton on the blue planet. And so he began his journey. For years he flew at that supersonic speed before landing on planet Earth. It wasn’t exactly as he expected it to be. There is no natural connection between people here, but only codes and other external tools to facilitate the communication, just like those he used to look at us, lost in the infinite space. He could not understand a single thing and did not manage to make himself understood. So after a few hours spent confusingly exploring the area a few dodgy guys picked on him for his clumsy moves and tried to beat him up while shouting violent and non-sense insults at him. This is when he started to become familiar with our communication methods.

While being beaten up he did not feel the pain because his alien skin was too thick. Instead he could feel their inner loneliness and, although he did not appreciate the stupidity of what they were doing, in that moment he realised he had found someone to share his suffering with. He threw his knife away because he knew he no longer needed it.

That evening I found him on the bridge, exactly where he got beaten up, still lying down and smiling. He asked me to lie down next to him and so I did.

This is, more or less, Sububudu’s story and how I met the alien who now live in my house.

Andrea Cafarella

translated by Ketty Tirrito