[July, 1988] I Want to Believe…And I Do
I have a story to tell you.
Last night I saw a shooting star and a few minutes later I saw a…UFO!!!
It was flourecent orange and it flew in a zig-zag line then it just disappeared. I had to admit I was sort of scared.
When I was nine years old, my parents did not let me watch horror movies. They did, however, let me watch Sightings and Unsolved Mysteries and other shows featuring spooky phenomenon and somber reinactments. Little did they know that those programs would terrify me more than any hockey-mask-wearing or claw-weilding serial killer. Because I didn’t believe that a burned man in a striped sweater would kill me in my sleep, but I did believe that being abducted by aliens (and possibly experimented on) was a plausible scenario. One that remains terrifying to me in adulthood.
While that night proved to be thrilling, it also planted a seed of fear and an irrational phobia in me. When we returned to Brooklyn, I began reading more books and magazines about The Unexplained, finding myself increasingly fascinated, but also increasingly frightened. At night, when some kids might say a nightly prayer before bed, I would stare at the sky beyond beyond my window and say a prayer of my own, to any alien life flying around in their strange craft, to leave me alone. As far as I know, I have yet to be abducted (*knock on wood*).
To this day, I don’t know what I saw, but it wasn’t a plane and it wasn’t fireworks. My parents and I spent that summer at a bungalow colony with my a handful of other Russian families and a group of us witnessed the orange lights late one night. The adults exclaimed that it was a UFO and while there might have been some vodka flowing earlier that night, it wasn’t enough to induce mass hallucinations. Besides, I saw it too (years before my first taste of alcohol) and I can’t explain it, either.
Whether or not it was an alien spacecraft paying a visit, those orange lights and the shooting star that preceded them had a lot of influence on my life-long interest in cosmology and the paranormal. Whenever I am outside New York City and somewhere with a more visible night sky, I always look up, searching for something out of the ordinary…
The set-up: Read my old diary entries annotated with (witty?) present-day commentary.
The time: 1985-onward
The point: Entertainment (let's hope!)
The warning: the contents of this blog may contain bad spelling, foul language, inordinate amounts of angst, run-on sentences, excessive commentary on boys, questionable music choices, delusions of grandeur, and the abuse of exclamation marks.
(names have been changed, so don't sue!)