Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Have you ever seen something you couldn’t explain?

I once rode a Greyhound bus from Kansas to Iowa in a raving snow storm. Semis were flipped in the ditches; visibility was less than a few feet. But our driver must’ve been on something that made all this crazy feel like paradise, because he didn’t waver. I thought I was going to die that night.

I sat next to a bearded Canadian, maybe 30 years my senior. An out of work electrical engineer, “just passing through.” We exchanged few words most of the way, passing the first six hours in near silence, white-knuckling the arm rests. But at some point, maybe we’d both realized that our fate was out of our hands, so why not lighten up, get to know our neighbor? We started up a conversation. I eventually asked him if he had ever seen anything he couldn’t explain.

Just like that, the question slipped out. It’s so personal, I thought, so eerie, and yet he didn’t miss a beat. He told me a story I repeat to this day, 15 years later, like I am right here. He told me that he was camping in Arizona, and as dusk approached, he realized he needed to hurry to find a spot to pitch his tent. He walked into the desert from the road, about a quarter mile, and turned a corner. There, he told me this so matter of factly that I have no doubt he saw this, was a deer, sitting upright, on a rock, legs crossed like a perfect gentleman. I immediately thought of the Gary Larson cartoon where cows are standing on two legs chatting, and a lookout cow shouts out that a car is coming and everyone resume their positions. The Canadian electrical engineer offered nothing more, and little surprise, really. To this day, I ask this question of people from time to time, and I’d love to hear your story.

Please reply with an answer to the question: Have you ever seen anything you couldn’t explain. If I get enough answers, I’m going to build a website as a sort of repository of your stories.


Nick
ntwemlow[AT]hotmail.com
Iowa

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