Kid just loves him some cows (komos) wrote,
Kid just loves him some cows

Passing fancy

I was never fortunate enough to have a bookmobile cruise my neighborhood. This isn't too surprising since I lived in the woods of Maine, and had very few neighbors who were actually there more than a couple of months out of the year. I remember seeing the ads for RIF depicting a large white panel-van driving through the inner city getting mobbed by kids looking for their fix of bound paper and ink. The hero of the commercial fights his way through the grasping hands, grabs something from a shelf, and then runs away. He runs just far enough away to be sure that the book zombies were still tearing apart the van and hadn't noticed his escape.

That was frickin' sweet.

What we did have was a catalogue that arrived at the school every month or so that allowed us to choose from a motley selection that had been approved for our youthful consumption. My mom was very indulgent about these, letting me pick out pretty much anything I wanted provided that I actually read it when it came in. This was a little before franchise series really got underway, but stories of the bizarre and/or mysterious were still incredibly popular. I got my fix off of books on cryptozoology, cryptoarcheology, the occult, paranormal activity (both studies and stories of), and UFOlogy.

I had it bad for extra-terrestrials. I read everything I could on UFOs and on alien abductions in hopes that I would one day know enough about what I was looking for that I could actually have my own sighting (... and still be smart enough to avoid getting captured because the whole medical experimentation thing was freaky.) I wanted to prove, once and for all, that there was nothing weird or crackpot about the idea that we were not alone. Actually, in retrospect I'm pretty sure that I really wanted to prove that I could have a genuine fear experience and keep my shit together, but at the time I was young and not thinking altogether clearly.

I'm sure you can imagine how excited I was when, on a class trip to a radio station, I found a yellowed index card taped to a wall above a phone that had the number for the USAF hotline for UFO sightings. It didn't matter that it was a cheesy little station broadcasting from a cramped second floor office in beautiful downtown Augusta, Maine. Finding that number felt like a watershed moment. It was such a huge find. In my head, it was clear that They wouldn't have the number if it didn't happen here. I never did see one. 'Course, I never got canonized as a saint by Rome either, but that's an entirely different story.

Since, I have had a legitimate fear experience or two, usually involving much more mundane (though no less inexplicable) circumstances. Sometimes, I've even kept my shit together.

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