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To Be a Clean Human

Would aliens know what a shower is?

By Victoria RiveraPublished 11 months ago 12 min read
Top Story - January 2023
To Be a Clean Human
Photo by Greg Rakozy on Unsplash

Dear Egnals,

It has been 10 Earth days since my last report, and I have now been a “roommate” for 3.5 Earth weeks. I am approaching my second month’s “rent check” and I have been informed that if I do not live a more hygienic lifestyle, I will be exiled. I have tried to keep a low profile while I study the Earth creatures, as you know there was a short scuffle over the human energy sources that are kept in the cold box. All energy sources are now labeled with the names of the other females, with their guidance I successfully used currency to buy my own energy sources, they have now been labeled “Samantha.” They assumed my lack of knowledge in this area was due to my “accent,” when they asked where I came I blurted out “Gorgon” without thinking, luckily they assumed it was just an area of this world they had not heard of.

Between the initial energy issue, my “inability to find a job,” and now my hygiene issue, the females are attempting to “throw me overboard,” as they say on the screened box. I still have currency left over from the selling of metals and stones so I can afford “rent” until I find a human career, however, it seems my “Samantha” suit has the capabilities of being dirty. Our natural bodies create their own cleaning mechanisms, similar to some non-human creatures I have seen on Earth, however, this is not the case for humans. The “Samantha” suit “smells,” the “hair is matted,” and the bones that reside in my mouth are “yellow, and smell rotten.”

When the other females sat me down to discuss this, I immediately enacted the leaky eye mode on the suit, as it seems this is the easiest way for females to get out of trouble. I told them I was unsure of what they were talking about, and that I wasn’t even aware I had a smell, which is partially true. I can smell something on the suit, but it is similar to the smells of small creatures and human males, so I was unaware that this was bad.

I quickly thought of some of the many screen humans and said, “I lived on the street. All my life. I have been lying to you, I found some items and sold them, which is why I have money now, but I have no idea how to be normal. What is a shower? What is a toothbrush? Why must my fabric items go in the loud machine that creates water?” All real questions that I need for my report, but the females were immediately taken aback. I was concerned at first, but then their maternal instincts seemed to kick in, and they became annoyed with the way their country treated “immigrants.”

“We will help you,” “Claire” said. “First things first, it’s time get you clean, then we will help you look for the right soap, shampoo, toothpaste, everything, and we might also need to buy you new clothes as I am not sure all of yours will come clean...but we will see after we wash them. If you can try to wash yourself once a day, for the next week, we will let you stay.” She stood up, “follow me.”

We walked towards the relieving area, I had already learned how to use their disposal bowl, my internal system took some time to get used to the Earth energy, and I had noticed other bowls and water creators in this room...but I had no idea what they were used for.

“This is a sink...please tell me you have been using it after you go to the bathroom?” “Claire” asked, the truth is I have not touched this “sink”...but I knew if I said that I would be kicked out immediately.

“Uhm, there is a tiny squeeze bottle on the disposal bowl, I have been using that.” I gestured to the top of the bowl as she scrunched her face. There was a small bottle filled with an alcoholic yet perfumey substance, it did not taste good, but I often see humans put it on their hands.

“Oh! Well, hand sanitizer is cleaning yes, but it’s not exactly healthy to constantly use it. Here, this is called hand soap, open your hands.” She turned a handle and water began pouring into the bowl, she then put a creamy liquid in my hands. “Rub your hands together until they are covered, and then put them under the water until there are no bubbles and the water is clear.”

I did as she said, the liquid smelled good but felt very sticky in my hands, I started clapping my hands together to create bubbles and stringy globs, but “Clarie” immediately told me to stop and directed my hands to the water. I was hesitant at first, but I slowly put my hands into the water and rubbed them together as she said. The “sink” was filled with bubbles and the water initially was quite brown, “Claire” made a face and I am assuming this was a sign that my suit was coming clean. When the water was clear she turned the handle again and handed me a fabric to dry off.

She then opened a drawer and pulled out a small stick with bristles, it resembles the mouth of an Earth whale, a creature similar to our blurpinshcuffle. “This is a toothbrush,” she then picked up a tube with a thick substance, “this is toothpaste, you put the paste on the brush and then the brush goes in your mouth. Use it to clean your teeth and tongue. Do not swallow it. Spit into the sink and when you are done, use water to clean out your mouth. This is a new brush, you can have it.”

“Claire” had already put the “paste” on the “brush” for me, when she said “teeth” she pointed to the mouth bones, and the “tongue” is a small muscle behind the bones, similar to nerve orbs we have in our mouths. The bones are used to crush energy, and the muscle is used to taste and occasionally remove “pudding” from a cup, as I have seen “Melissa” do. I placed the stick in my mouth and did as she said. The bristles created a soft scrubbing feeling across the bones, it tasted cold and created a foamy substance in my mouth. When the foam began to drip down “Claire” immediately told me to spit in the “sink,” I did as she said but I am not sure how it helped, my mouth still felt foamy. She made me brush the bones and muscle until there was no more paste on the brush. I cleaned both the brush and my mouth with water and blew some air into her face as I have seen others do.

“Does this smell better?” I asked.

She made a face of annoyance and said, “I mean...yes..but you need to do this twice a day to keep it clean...and you still have a general smell.” She stopped and thought for a moment, “There’s a lot we have to go through...but I don’t think we will go through it all for now just shower and we will figure out the rest tomorrow.” She motioned to a large box that occasionally drips water, it often creates a thick air when the other females use it. “You said you had no idea what a shower was, but when we met you, you weren’t dirty. So how did you clean yourself before?”

I wasn’t sure what to say, the “Samantha” suit was new, there was nothing to make it dirty. Another screen human came to mind, “You see, sometimes I would get in those giant bowls they have outside? You know, in the grassy areas that people sit in, it has a large bowl of water filled with coins, and there is a naked stone human in the center creating more water? I would get in there and make myself clean.” I tried to say this with the corners of my mouth turned up, but “Claire” seemed horrified by my answer.

“...You bathed in fountains?”

“Uhm, yes!”

She shook her head, “Okay, so similar concept I guess? We don’t have a bathtub so it’s not going to fill with water in the bottom. The water will come out the top just like the statue, and you can use my stuff for now. This is shampoo, it goes in your hair first, scrub it in really good, then rinse it out. This is face wash, put it on your face, then rinse, this is soap, for right now...I want you to scrub your body three times with it, rinse each time, you cannot leave the shower until the water is clear of bubbles and dirt. While you are cleaning your face and body, I want you to use this conditioner, I don’t have a new brush so just use this one for now, and then we will throw it away and get new ones. When you are done washing your face and body, with the conditioner still in your hair, use the brush until your hair is smooth. Rinse everything, use this towel, then get dressed.”

She handed me all these items and then left the room. I stared at the box for a moment, it had handles like the ”sink” did, but she did not tell me how to use them. Oftentimes I see the females exit this room with nothing but the “towel” fabric around their bodies and heads, so I did not think this was an activity in which you wear your daily fabric. I removed the fabric from the “Samantha” suit, and stepped into the box. I turned one handle and cold water came out of the holes at the top of the box. It immediately hit me in the face and I jumped back in fear. I slowly put my hands in the water and it started to get warmer, as I inched closer it continued to heat up, and thick air filled the room. I thought this meant I was doing something right, but then the water was too warm. It began to turn the “Samantha” suit red and I could feel my pain sensors activating. I quickly turned the other handle and the water began to cool down, but I must have used too much force as the water became colder than the box that holds energy. I continued to turn the handles until finally, I reached an acceptable temperature.

As I settled under the water, I allowed it to run over the suit’s body. As my nerves have been fused with the suit for the time being, I was able to feel the sensation of the water hitting my skin. It is a similar sensation to “rain,” “rain” is when water falls from the top of the Earth here. At first, it scared me, as this usually means a toxic acid is falling on Gorgon, but it is completely harmless here, and some humans and creatures enjoy it.

This “shower” creates its own “rain.” I did as “Claire” said and allowed the water to completely wet my body and hair. As you remember, “hair” is the long stringy skin that comes out the tops of human heads, they have creatures that are covered in it. I took the “shampoo” and once again, I was covering my hands in a sticky liquid. I rubbed it through my hair and scrubbed until it made bubbles and ran down my face. It entered my eyes and created a horrible burning sensation. I quickly removed the substance from my entire body, I could not open my eyes to see if the bubbles were gone, every time I did water or “shampoo” would enter them and I would be blinded. I stood under the water scrubbing until I felt it was safe to move on. I took the “conditioner” next and it too was a liquid, but it was much creamier and had a pleasant scent, I am not sure of the proper amount, but I put the bottle over my head and squeezed until it made a “pfft” type noise. I think that meant there was no more, I scrubbed it into my hair and it seemed never-ending.

I took the “face wash” and it burned! Why does this go on faces? There are holes everywhere. It got into my eyes and hurt more than the “shampoo”, there were tiny seeds and they did not taste good at all, it even went up the smelling holes and it burned the inside. When I frantically tried to remove it I felt death was imminent. Everything burned and I was choking on water and bubbles. After a long struggle, I finally felt clear and moved onto my body. I was instructed to scrub and rinse three times, at least I was able to see and did not have to bring anything near my face.

Yet another sticky liquid, I poured it on my entire body and began using the scraping mechanism that is at the end of my hands. It hurt, but I believe this is what they mean by scrubbing. The water was bubbly and brown, I rinsed off and did this two more times until it was finally clear. By the end of this, the scrapers were flimsy and my skin was raw, in some areas there was a red substance coming from the skin…perhaps I was too forceful with the scrubbing. I believe this is the suit’s way of showing injury.

To clean the hair you take another bristled stick and put the bristles directly into the hair, and pull in a downward motion. It is a painful process and if you use too much force you can not only break the brush, but you can also create small spots of hairless skin on the head. I, unfortunately, did both. Once the brush was broken I decided to use fingers, it was also quite difficult but I believe I made some room with the brush. Once the hair felt soft I completely rinsed the suit until the water was clean. I turned the handles until there was no more water, and exited the box with the fabric wrapped around my body.

As I left the room the females were waiting outside, they clapped for me, so I believe I have brought them joy. “Melissa” gave me a long piece of fabric to wear and said I should wear this until we do “laundry” tomorrow. I will report back when I have more information. I believe if I repeat this cleaning process daily, I will be safe from exile.



Sci Fi

About the Creator

Victoria Rivera

Writing fiction stories about whatever comes to mind! When I'm not writing you can find me crying about all the animals I can't adopt.

Reader insights


Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

Top insights

  1. Compelling and original writing

    Creative use of language & vocab

  2. Easy to read and follow

    Well-structured & engaging content

  3. Excellent storytelling

    Original narrative & well developed characters

  1. Heartfelt and relatable

    The story invoked strong personal emotions

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    Writing reflected the title & theme

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Comments (8)

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  • Yusuf Alam3 months ago

    👌 Loved it! 😍 well-written! 📝

  • Mark Coughlin10 months ago

    A very well written point-of-view story that was amusing and interesting. I like how you use vocabulary to express your protagonist's newness to the culture.

  • Veronica Coldiron11 months ago

    OMGOSH! This made my whole day! Lol! Great writing. Anytime I can read something that draws me in and makes me read like this without thinking about the technical part is outstanding! Great job!

  • Wonderful! Left love and subscribed

  • Canuck Scriber11 months ago

    Entertaining and well written. Happy to subscribe to your work.

  • JAYESH KUKREJA11 months ago

    how nice

  • This was hilarious! I love the idea of an alien learning our cleaning rituals. It is a strange process to try to learn, all the descriptions were so good, so funny.

  • Lisa Tomey11 months ago

    This is a fun story!

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