That Thing We Don’t Talk About

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8/15/2013

Early one summer morning a few years ago, two friends and myself were watching the first hints of dawn peek over the Cascades from a penthouse apartment window while coming down from acid. A third friend was asleep on the couch near us, having only had alcohol she fell asleep. As the sky began to turn orange and then lighter toward yellow, the three of us who were awake noticed what appeared to be a meteor hanging above the horizon. It was a speck of twinkling white light, and seemed roughly triangular or like a stout rhomboid depending on its twinkle. I say it was hanging above the horizon because it didn’t streak across the sky like a meteor; it didn’t move vertically or horizontally in the sky, it just sat where it was and increased in brightness and size. I was initially alarmed that we were witnessing a missile or very large asteroid coming straight for us at a very shallow angle, but the light just kept twinkling reassuringly in the same spot in the sky. After about 15 minutes of this we roused our sleeping friend from the couch for some relatively sober confirmation that we were in fact seeing strange stationary lights in the sky. As dawn grew brighter two more rhomboids appeared in the same general area as the first, one a little above and one to the side and below. One of my tripping friends had a degree in physics and was at a loss to explain the atmospheric properties of what we were witnessing.

After gazing in awe at the lights for another half an hour one of my friends said,  “Do you see the…”

“…that they’re shooting out red and green sparks?” finished another. And they were, all three of the previously white lights were kind of pulsing and showering out tiny red and green sparks. I wasn’t afraid; it was beautiful. We all checked with our sober friend to confirm our shared observations. All four of us sat for another hour in wonderment punctuated only by bursts of confounded hypothesizing and euphoric laughter.

It’s important to note here that there were very few clouds in the sky, it was a relatively clear morning but for these glorious fountains of color. There were some long streaky distant clouds that were illuminated by the sparkling lights but they seemed to form after the dawn had progressed fairly far.

As sunrise grew nearer the sparkling peaked, and the twinkling meteors began to shrink. Not so much bending toward the horizon as departing into a region of sky straight back on a tangent to the curvature of the earth. They all disappeared right before the sun came over the mountains. During this experience (and after) my friends and I searched the internet for news stories of strange meteorological or astronomical activity that morning and found nothing. No forecasts, no sightings, no explanation. It was like no one else in the area had been awake and facing east for the two hours this event lasted, or if they did they didn’t want to talk about it. And that’s the way my friend with the physics degree prefers it. As it was happening he decided we shouldn’t talk about it, mostly because of the loss of credibility that people endure from sharing their experiences with unexplained phenomena.

“I don’t want to be one of those otherwise reasonable people who insist they’ve *seen* something,” he said that beautiful morning.

“I think that’s exactly what’s happening to all of us right now,” I laughed.

Whenever I mention the event to him now I make sure to call it “That Thing We Don’t Talk About.

Submitted by Reese S.