We’re sitting on her porch, the ubiquitous Styrofoam cooler between us. I’m drinking Pabst Tallboys. She’s drinking peach wine coolers for some insane reason. It’s been threatening to rain all day but so far we’ve been lucky; it’s just chilly and gray.
She finishes a peach cooler and drops the empty bottle down the mouth of the three stacked tires she uses as a footstool.
Silence for a while, and then she says, “Do you believe in spaceships?”
“Spaceships? Of course I believe in spaceships. We’ve been building them for seventy years.”
She lets out an exasperated groan. “Not like that. You know what I mean.” All these years and I’m still teasing her. I don’t know what’s wrong with me.
I say, “Sorry. You mean spaceships from other planets, right?”
“Yeah. Like aliens. Do you think they’re really real?” She has this eager, excited little expression and I know what’s coming.
“I don’t know. Why? You see one?”
“YES!” she says, giddy as a kid.
“Tell me about it,” as if I could stop her at this point.
“Okay. Well, I was walking home...”
“Wait. Does this story end with an anal probe?”
She shoots me a cross look. “Ew! No! Shut-up. Anyways, I was walking home from Evergreen [Evergreen Counseling Services. We both go there for help with the crazies]. It was dark `cause I had to make a late appointment. Usually I’m there in the morning. Thursday morning...”
“Is that you? I thought you looked familiar.”
“Shut up, retard. Let me talk.”
“Yeah, so anyways, I’m walking home and it’s real spooky `cause I notice there’s like no cars on the road. No traffic.”
“You think the spaceships stole it?”
“What? Stole what?”
“The traffic. Maybe the spaceships abducted all the traffic.”
She punches my arm. “Shut up! I’m being serious!”
“Sorry... Go ahead.”
“Anyways. So all of a sudden, I hear this sound. Like a, what do you call it?” She looks at me, waiting for an answer.
I shrug. “What?”
“What do you call that sound spaceships make.”
“Clarence?” I offer.
“No, fucknob. The sound alien spaceships make.”
“I don’t know. I haven’t heard one since my bar mitzvah.”
“No, dipshit, like in the movies. It’s a specific sound. It’s real moody.”
“Moody, huh? Like this?” I try to whistle like the Theremin in The Day the Earth Stood Still.
“No. Not like that.”
Silence for a while. Then she says, “It was like a blip. Like this; Blip blip blip blip.”
“That sounds like a blip all right.”
“Yeah. So, like the more I walk, the louder it gets and the faster the blips get.”
“Did the blips get blippier too?”
She lowers her head, lets out a long breath and says, “Fuuuuck ooofff!”
“So, anyWAYS! I seen this crazy blue light in the sky. Like, really really blue. Y’know?”
“It was really blue?” I stroke my chin like a professor. “Yes, I know what that was. That’s the light from the trans-dimensional bivalve motor that makes the jump to hyperspace. That blue light. It’s like a turn signal on a car...”
Got her again. “No,” I say and she punches my arm, harder this time.
“You’re a total and utter ass.”
“Way to ruin a good story, asshole.”