Red and blue flashing lights. Intense, spontaneous and gone in two seconds. They crossed the window of our room, which overlooked to the back patio of the house, and punched us in the eyes. My younger brother must have been six and I eight; him sleeping in the top bunk and me on the lower one, as each night for several years by then.
"What was that?", I said. "I don't know", replied my brother in a shaky voice. Honestly, even before I asked, my mind said: UFO, aliens. Yes, skeptical little me thought that. It was about eleven in the night, everyone else (parents and older sisters) was fast asleep and no sound came accompanying the lights.
But anyway, I don't think we said much more to each other after the episode. I may have made him laugh to ease him -and myself- as we closed our eyes for the day. In that silence that took us before either of us started our child snoring, I knew we both were building theories and reaching crazy conclusions. I knew we were in the midst of living our first real-life mystery. I was not afraid though. I felt special. I could bet only us had seen the flashy phenomenon outside the window, coming from the sky, and maybe there was a purpose to it. Just maybe, "they" had let us see it.
For years this memory came to mind. Thinking about it now, I guess it was at times when I felt particularly lonely, or devoided of any magic. I'm sure I thought about it when I learned the the Reyes Magos (The Wise Men that bring gifts like Santa Claus) was not real. Aside from the possibility of having catch the light of an UFO, this was the only paranormal or magical thing I truly ever believed in. No God, no ghosts, no miracles, angels, premonitions or horoscopes. When that shattered, my heart lost a piece. As ridiculous as it sounds, it was the tragedy of the year and of my life.
And today, having no particular reason to think about the UFO, I decided to write about it. With my first word, I realized: "It had to be a patrol police car without the sirens". It was, wasn't it? It's not at all uncommon here in Mexico, but that's not something I knew or thought about at eight. Hmmm. It's not a tragedy though. It kinda makes me laugh.
It's also not the end of the believer in me. Many nights, when I talk about the universe with J, and my comprehension can only go so far, I really savor the idea of there being something we don't know about at all. Not a person... a fact, a reason, an energy. Who knows. I tell myself that the belief itself doesn't' matter, but the hope for living and the actions towards others. Besides, I'll always have books and stories to delight in the magical and travel worlds.