What will the anthropologists that visit us from space make of it all?
What will they make of our face masks… protection from a virus, or just adornments for our mouths, like an heirloom brooch or cheap flashy earrings?
What will they make of all these words on our t-shirts: Coke, Obama/Biden ‘08, Penn State, IZOD, 6th Annual 5k Race, It’s 5 o’clock somewhere!? Will they see advertisements, souvenirs? Or perhaps holy creeds, or clan-identifying garb? Or will they think they’re our names, like the name on a dog’s collar?
What will they make of the braces on my teeth? Will they know they were good for my teeth, badly needed and the best our age has? Or will they see a weird fashion, like big plumes on hats, or some kind of punishment for a gossip or a liar?
What would they make of the stack of books on my table? A true crime story, a feminist memoir, a history of the Maya, a novel about moms, a book of crossword puzzles, an empty journal. Will they look like instruction manuals? Orders from above? History or philosophy, of my culture or someplace else?
And what of me? Will they see me as a writer, teacher, mother and friend? As smart and strong and beautiful, blossoming? Or as a crone, or a symbol, as very young or very old? Oh, a priestess!
Maybe they’ll find our museums, but with all their labels worn away. Maybe they’ll have watched TV en route, like Mork. Or was it Alf?
I’ve looked at artifacts of Ancient Rome, a museum of modern art, and Mayan ruins in the same week, and I have questions!!