Expect the unexpected. You’ve heard that before. Maybe you’ve said that before. It has a nice ring to it. It makes no sense at all. We never know what we’re going to encounter from one minute to the next. And there’s no way to prepare for some things.
Believe me, I know.
Ten years ago on a beautiful spring day, my world was rocked by an encounter with the unknown. I was heading out the door on an errand of great importance. We were out of ice cream. I strode confidently out of the garage and towards my car. As I cut across the driveway, I heard a woman say, “Here’s one.”
It wasn’t a whisper. The voice was clear and close. Right behind me. I whirled around. There was no one there. And there was no one in the street either. No kids, no cars. I froze in place, held my breath and listened. Nothing. The world had gone completely quiet. I slowly cocked my head back and looked skyward. And yes, I was expecting to see a large flying saucer overhead with a bay door beginning to open.
The sky was empty. There was no steel gray craft hovering above me. But that didn’t stop my mind from being filled with unpleasant imagery culled from nine seasons of The X Files and movies like Dark Skies. I imagined the worst. The ship was invisible. I had watched enough sci-fi flicks to understand the existence of cloaking devices and silent propulsion engines. I was sure that the height-challenged gray humanoids with the big black eyes were warming up the anal probe for me. I backpedaled from the car and ran to the safety of the house.
Everyone knows that aliens are perfectly capable of opening windows, paralyzing unsuspecting humans and floating their bodies out and up to the awaiting ship. Still, I felt better hunkering down in the deep recesses of the house. My trusty dog sat by my side…for about ten minutes. That’s when he realized I didn’t have any food. He stood up, stretched and started to walk away.
“Newton, get back here,” I whispered. “I’m serious.”
He did not find my pleas convincing. Aliens or not, the mutt had better things to do. He picked up a stuffed toy and left me alone and helpless.
Eventually, I found the courage to peer out a window. The street was full of activity. Children were on their bicycles and my neighbor was buzzing along on a riding mower.
The coast was clear. Or maybe that’s what the nasty visitors wanted me to think. I decided to take my chances. I got up, shook off the feeling of dread, headed out to my car. I was going to live as if nothing happened. There was a pint of Ben & Jerry’s Cherry Garcia ice cream waiting for me at the store. Nothing was going to stand in my way. Aliens be damned.
I’ll close this twisted tale with a quote from the classic 1951 B movie, The Thing From Outer Space, “Everyone of you listening to my voice, tell the world, tell this to everybody wherever they are. Watch the skies. Everywhere. Keep looking. Keep watching the skies.”