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Them again
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Of course I knew they were here when I was a child. It was so obvious. It wasn’t until I started watching movies like “ET” that I realized there was a name for them: Aliens.
I grew up, smoked dope with friends, shared my feelings about extraterrestrial creatures who walk among us masquerading as fellow humans. In freshman year this got me a lot of empathetic nods and wise sighs but by the time I graduated from college, we weren’t doing that anymore – getting high together and talking about aliens. I mean, I still knew it, I think we all knew it, but there was nothing to be done so why keep speculating?
Then I entered the so-called grown up world, tried a couple of different careers, found Mr. Right a few times, settled down, sprang out a couple of AWESOME children and somehow have a couple of decades I can’t fully account for, extraterrestrial-wise.
Both of my kids were still living at home when scientists reported that they had discovered evidence of water, now long dried up, on Mars. So, there had been life on Mars. I called my friend Kathleen and told her that and she just said, “Oh, I already knew that.”
The next day my husband was walking the dog very early in the morning when he saw what looked like lights from a spacecraft lifting off in the pre-dawn gloom right in front of him. Naturally, I was intensely jealous. I very often took that same early morning walk and I couldn’t help but ask to an uncertain interlocutor: “Why show yourself to him and not to me?”
Several more years passed and I realized that one of my co-workers, there may have been more, was not exactly the same as us humanoids. Oh, she chattered and used tools the way we hominids do but there was something small, tight and odorless at the core of her (if there was a core) and a bright light emanated from her glassy, obsidian-toned eyes when she was angry or enthusiastic. She didn’t frighten me exactly, certainly she wasn’t trying to. But there was something universally off-putting about her and when she smiled, it was unsettling.
In those days, not so long ago, aliens and flying saucers were relegated to the giant green screens of cinema and the creepy yet ultimately conforming witnessing of regional people who had been abducted by aliens. Many claimed to have been sexually abused, specifically to have been sodomized. They always looked dazed and yet a little amazed by the experience.
Everyone said Roswell was just bullshit. No one believed aliens existed. Correction, adults said that there was no life on other planets no matter what you heard, saw or knew.
Then, just a few months ago, something called “Government Scientists” all suddenly agreed that people on Earth had had credible sightings, many of them, of beings or awarenesses or phenomena that could not be explained in any other way.
Honestly, I don’t know who these beings are or why they are here. I know they’re not giant sock people stuffed into human bodies. At least I hope not. I hope they know more, see more, write more, feel more. I hope they’re better than us. I hope they like us. I hope they find ways to talk to us so that hominids like me can understand. I hope they dance and sing and love dogs and children and the ocean and oh, am I glad that we can finally talk about them again.


Laura– I love this piece. It’s a combination of whimsy and reality and reverie. Great “voice.” (I think it’s yours.)

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