Saturday, May 2, 2009

the shiny red balloon

The shiny red balloon, 14 months later. It lives safely in my sock drawer.

I met a woman at a Starbucks in the lobby of a tacky casino in Laughlin Nevada. We sat together and drank coffee on one of the first mornings of an eight day UFO conference. She is from Germany and her name is Natascha. We got along wonderfully and talked about the strange scene here at the conference. This happened a few mornings in a row, and soon we were sitting together during the presentations, and by the end of the conference, we were spending almost all of our time together.

Up until this conference, Natascha had almost no interest in the UFO phenomenon. How she ended up in Nevada is a curious story, she was told by an astrologer to travel from Germany all the way to Las Vegas to attend this eight day event, so she did. It proved to be the start of new chapter of her life. She realized that, somehow, this subject was important.

On the final day, after the conference had officially ended, she was planning to take a shuttle van to the Las Vegas airport for her flight home. I said I would drive her, it was no problem. We spent our final time in the casino at the same Starbucks, saying goodbye to friends we had met. It was late in the morning when morning we got in my little Subaru and started the drive North.

The highway out of Laughlin is though the desert, and it’s bleak and empty. This created a surreal mood after being cooped up in the casino for over a week. Natascha had her iPod, and she played me some music from two of her friends in Germany. It was a haunting series of tones created by a man rubbing crystal bowls and a woman singing. Less than a year later I had dinner with this same couple - but that’s another story.

We talked and tried to make sense of the of our time together at the conference. It was about an hour drive before we arrived in Las Vegas. It was actually a sad time in the car, because we had become quite close.

We were both hungry, and there was plenty of time before the flight and we were eager to find someplace to eat. We are both rather health conscious vegetarians, and the food at the casino was dreadful, and now we were heading into the outskirts of Las Vegas, and I was doubtful we would find anything that would fit our needs.

But, we passed a WHOLE FOODS grocery store, I made a U-turn and we doubled back, and within a few minutes we were pulling into the parking lot of the strip mall. I found a space for my car, and eased in. Natascha was on the passenger side, and she got out and stood up. I was on the drivers side, and I got out.

I looked across the roof of the car and saw that Natascha was standing there, with a curious expression on her face, and she was holding a shiny red balloon. I walked around to her side of the car and she seemed a little perplexed. She handed me the balloon, it was heart shaped with the words I LOVE YOU on it. I was confused, she definitely did not have the balloon in the car during the drive, so I didn't understand where it came from.

I gently set it in the car, closed the door, and we went into the grocery store together.

We never mentioned the balloon.

Our lunch together was very nice, we ate salad and fruit in the deli. She also got some food for the flight home (mostly chocolate) and I got some food for my long drive back to Idaho (mostly chocolate).

We went to the airport, and I walked her up to the security gate and we said good-bye. It was an emotional farewell and there were some tears. I walked out of the airport feeling sad and confused.

And then I spent the next 16 hours driving, with a shiny red balloon on the passenger seat, with the words I LOVE YOU staring up at me.

I got home and with in the first day or so I called her on Skype. Early in the conversation I asked: “Natascha, where did that balloon come from?”

She paused and then said, “I don’t know.”

We were both perplexed, and I pressed her on it.

She finally said, “I’m not sure, but I think it was just there when I opened the door of the car and I picked it up.”

I met Natascha over a year ago, in February of 2008. Since she has been back in Germany, we have talked almost weekly (and sometimes daily) either on the phone or thru Skype. These conversations have a way of getting very deep, in a way that seems to help me - a lot. I don’t quite know what to make of our intense relationship.

I feel like I’ve met a true soul mate.


Natascha said...

Sitting here in Germany with tears of joy. Well, it was your last sentence, Mike, that went right into my heart. Yes we are true soulmates (whatever that is - it doesn't matter).
And I have a deep longing (and sometimes it's more a looking foreward - but most or the time I'm unsure), that one day we will live together - all of us in love and peace and harmony, without these concepts of "relationship", "human - extraterestrial", "me and them" (I could put a lot more to this list). At least I'm ready for it.

Lots of love for Mike and everybody who reads this,

Quanta said...

You mention you're eager to hear if we have similar stories...well, of course, you and I always do. When I was expecting my daughter (who's now 21), her dad worked at the old Stapleton Airport in Denver. We were struggling along trying to get some things together for the new baby and didn't have a lot of money, but one time I parked at the airport and went in to spend some time with John while he worked. When I came back to the car there was a stroller - the cheap kind that you can normally just fold up really quick and stash in a small place - right next to my car. It was like a "gift from above." Not quite as poignant as the Love Balloon story, but one of those little unexpected "gifts" that just happen now and then, that remain mysteries forever....

Jonah said...

Love Walks In ~ Van Halen

Contact is all it takes
To change your life to lose your place in time
Contact! asleep or awake
Coming around you may wake up to find
Questions deep within your eyes,
Things youve never realized

So when you sense a change
Nothing feels the same
All your dreams are strange, love comes walkin in
Some kind of alien
Wait for the opening
Then simply pulls a string

Another world, some other time
You lay your sanity on the line
Familiar faces familiar sights
Reach back remember with all your might
Ohh there she stands in a silken gown
Silver lights shining down

Love comes walkin in

Sleep and dream is all I crave
I travel far across the milky way
To my master I become a slave
Til we meet again some other day
Where silence speaks as loud as war
And the earth returns to what it was before

Love comes walkin in

Cheers to you both!