Close Encounters

We were in the car when we first saw the UFO, back when we were only beginning to feel the vast country of uncrossable space stretching between us, which is why we were driving in such thick silence. So when the radio snapped on it was like a bombing going off, I was that startled. My instinct was to break, hard and fast. The car heaved, and then stopped. I remember how you tried to press the off button, but your fingers were shaking from the adrenaline and the shock, they kept pushing but still the speakers blasted country song guitar coming in though the static and distorted talk.

And then, suddenly, the world got quiet.

It was not like the silence from before, or the silence over the dinners that came after, which was swarming with unsayable things. It was the silence of no-motion, dead air, no swarm or static; and then something indescribable came into our field of vision from somewhere in the sky; and then it landed; and I don't remember thinking or saying anything but maybe I looked at you, for a second, maybe I touched your arm.

Most people don't believe. I've learned to stop telling them. Those who do want answers I don't have, and turn angry, or incredulous, that I don't know. I tell them: If I knew, don't you think that would change everything? I once read someone say, When you become perfect, you disappear. If I knew, would I be here? You are the only one who saw it too, and though you have disappeared from my days and nights you are still here, I still see you in pieces of dreams and we are still in this together. What keeps me here is that I don't remember: did I look at you? Did I touch your arm? That bothers me most of all.


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