Marvin the Martian Goes to the Beach


by Brian D. Morrison



A Mr. Potato Head figure in a snazzy hat, Marvin had the world at his ray gun tip. If he wanted lips, he took them. Teeth, he pulled them. Martian glue held what needed held. All the world categorized, knowns for a knowing being—one steps off a cliff and must look down to fall—and yet, his green dog would pant and pant about his legs imagining home, the red roll of Martian wind on a wild horizon. Marvin knew this stirring well. The wonder drew him to a thought: He had never heard it.   All his life, a lack of ears had left him telepathic but deaf. Bugs Bunny’s every thought translated, compiled, dealt with, but no, no wind could enter. He’d heard of seashells, of their whispered ocean memory, and so he left for the mole crabs and their kingdoms of sand. For many hours, Marvin, obsessed, held shell by shell to his head, waiting, waiting to be shaken by the sound of wind. Of water. Of anything. But no, nothing. And then he knew, like the eroding rock on the cliff side finally freed and falling, he would have to take a leap to shatter his world with brilliance. So he climbed a great height, and eyes down, leapt. The wind was all there was. It enveloped him, it became him, and though he didn’t hear it, he knew then how it was made. How it entered the world and how it left.