the crescent moon is low in the sky tonight

It’s hiding in the canopy of the pine trees and peeks out between the boughs, a bright basin with all the stars above it.

The bright lights in the sky remind me of a time when I was kid. I remember going trick or treating with a lot of face paint, and I couldn’t wear my glasses without ruining the frightening effect that I was going for. The trade off, of course, is that I couldn’t see very well. Back then, the liability pretty much meant that I couldn’t see things that were very far away. Like, say, the Goodyear Blimp. This is important later.

I went around the neighborhood with the usual crew. Yuyi, Eddy, Patricia, Richard, and probably the Rocamoras, although I’m guessing we had to go to them, because they rarely left their street.  This was also the time in my life when I lived and breathed all thing sci-fi. It was some time after Star Trek was syndicated in the afternoons, but way before Star Wars and Star Trek: The Motion Picture. Maybe I was already a fan of Space:1999 because Gene Roddenberry had introduced it and Fred Freiberger was producing it (as a side note, Freiberger’s involvement may have been why I often felt that the Space:1999 shows were re-worked Star Trek sripts. Even as a kid I realized that there is nothing new under the sun). It would be many years before television sci-fi would get my attention again.

Anyway, tonight’s moon, the pine trees, and the airport holding pattern that brings so many planes across our neighborhood all came together to replicate that night so many years ago when I was absolutely certain I was witnessing a real, live, UFO.

I saw the lights through the pines on Drew Valley, swirling in all the primary colors, and flying low, dipping, gaining altitude, and then stopping. I think my heart skipped a beat and I had a moment of absolute terror like those folks listening to War of the Worlds when they were psyched out. My vision was blurred enough to see the colors, but not realize there were words. Speechless, I wildly gesticulated to my friends, hoping to save us all from the imminent abduction.

They, of course, only saw my childish fascination with the Goodyear Blimp, and laughed at me for pointing it out to them.

There was no way I was gonna confess that I thought it was a flying saucer. Nope. I just shrugged and popped some candy corn in my mouth.