When Carolyn came down from the loft, Chris was up on the roof and I was down on the floor, floating in a puddle of sunlight and dreaming. Alanna was grinding coffee, and I was hiding my eyes from the morning.
In the daylight the house was a beautiful bunker, filled with jarred milk, homemade jam, Rilke books, saké cups, old maps, weird plants, faded cans, and sunlight over everything. Bits of broken mirror were lodged in the wall, reflecting the light and looking like cuts.
There was a thick journal from 1978, filled with love poems to someone named Monica, who must have been very beautiful. Sitting on the sofa in the sunlight, it was secretly sad to read about someone else's soul mate, with her "legs that turn and revolve and swoop and bend and sometimes cross like religion." I wasn't going to find my Monica there in the bunker, and I thought how all journeys are either about finding your Monica or finding yourself, but it can be hard to know when you've found them, though people say you'll know.
So after pancakes and peach jam, we drove along the Chama river and up onto the mesa to Pilar, Carson, Solo, El Rito, and Abiquiu, where the cows not only cross the road but also get on spaceships.
I've always wanted to be abducted by aliens, and many times at night I've gone to a field, looked to the sky, and begged the Grays to lift me up, though they never have.
At a 2012 conference last spring in Boston, I told my friend Lisa about my curiosity. Lisa usually laughs a lot, but she suddenly got grimly serious and told me never under any circumstance to agree to board a spaceship. She wouldn't tell me why, but only that this was terribly important, and she made me promise I'd never do it.
"You see, they can't just take you," she said. "You have to consent. But they are very tricky and they will try to confuse you and sometimes they will look like someone you love, like your sister. But even if your sister knocks at your door and tells you time is running out and your only chance is to get on the spaceship, don't listen to her, because she will then be lost, and you should close the door and keep her out."
This was all very strange, but Lisa was so adamant that I finally promised I'd never get on the ship, and then she was happy again and went back to laughing. Now I tell everyone what Lisa told me.
"You are needed here on Earth," she said. "Earth is the place to be."