“Where have you been?”, my wife asked me.
“I don’t know.”, I replied.
“What do you mean you don’t know?”, she continued. “You had to have been somewhere.”
“I know.”, I told her. “I was somewhere, but I’m just not sure where that somewhere was.”
“Okay.”, she said. “You’re starting to freak me out.”
“Freak you out?”, I quipped. “How do you think I feel.”
It was a Saturday afternoon. My wife and I had gone out for the day. I had wandered off, as usual, and had somehow become lost. Nothing seemed familiar, and yet I knew I had been there before. It seemed like I had been gone for hours. And standing there, surrounded by the cavern like walls, I was sure that I would never find my way out. Fear and anxiety began to set in, and then the panic hit. Waves of impending doom washed over me, leaving me filled with dread and despair. I realized that I was alone, and had no idea where I was. There were people milling about, but I couldn’t ask anyone for help. I just couldn’t speak. I opened my mouth, but not a sound would come out.
“You always do this.”, my wife pointed out. “It doesn’t matter where we go, you always seem to wander off.”
“This was different.”, I told her. “I don’t think I was here.”
“What the hell does that mean?”, she asked.
“It means”, I leaned over to her in order to whisper, “it means I was somewhere else.”
“Like another store?”, she asked.
“No.”, I responded. “I think somewhere farther away.”
“You’re not making any sense.”, she said.
“I know.”, I replied. “I’ll try to explain, but I don’t really understand it, either. Maybe we should sit down somewhere.” We walked over to the bench that sat in front of a metal sculpture of 3 strange looking women who seemed to be flying, strategically placed over a fountain. “Okay, I’ll tell you everything I know.”, I said as we sat on the bench.
“You were looking at shoes or something, so I thought I’d just walk over to the electronics store. But I never got there. Something happened to me. Everything seemed different, like it had changed in a instant. There were these really bright lights. They were everywhere, and they seemed to blink on and off with some sort of synchronicity. And there was music, but really awful music, like Bon Jovi or something.”
“I like Bon Jovi.”, my wife interjected.
“I know.”, I replied. “And I couldn’t really see anything, I mean I couldn’t make out where I was. I tried to speak, but nothing happened. I just couldn’t make a sound. I could see people, I think they were people, moving around me, but I couldn’t seem to get anyone’s attention. And then, I felt as if I was paralyzed. I couldn’t move. It was like I didn’t have arms or legs. But the lights kept flashing, and getting brighter. There were shadows moving behind them, I thought they were people, but they seemed to be floating, not walking. And then, something got into my mind. I can’t explain it, but it felt like someone was taken information out of my brain. It was so weird.” My wife sat silently for a few moments, thinking about what I had just told her and gathering her thoughts.
“Are you high?”, she asked.
“I sure as hell hope so.”, I answered. “But that has nothing to do with this.”
“Really?”, she asked, as sarcastically as I had ever heard her. “Remember the time we went to Medieval Times, and you were certain that one of the knights had a flying horse? What were you on then?”
“That was different.”, I explained. “Mushrooms, I think.”
“So what do you think happened to you?”, she asked.
“I think I was abducted. By Aliens.”, I told her.
“And what would they want with you?”, she queried.
“Information.”, I answered. “They were getting information and knowledge from my brain.”
“Well”, my wife replied, “Its unlikely they got much except maybe flying horses, and dinosaurs.”
“Dragons.”, I corrected her. “Dragons. Not dinosaurs.”
“Let’s just go home.”, she said. The ride home was one of silent condemnation. She didn’t believe it. Hell, I wasn’t sure if I believed it either. As we turned onto our street, the entire block was lit up. There were blinking lights everywhere, hovering over the houses like low lying clouds. There was a constant hum, as if a giant vacuum cleaner was running.
“It was kind of like this.”, I said.
“Really?”, my wife asked. “Those are Christmas lights. They’re Christmas lights on the houses. And there are Santa’s and reindeer on the roofs of the houses. And big snowmen on the front lawns. That’s all it is.”
“Then what about what happened earlier?”, I asked. “At the mall?”
“You wandered into the Christmas display.”, she informed me. “With the lights, and Santa and the elves.”
“Well.”, I said. “That makes sense.”
“Ya.”, she replied. “Probably just another Christmas flashback.”
“I guess.”, I replied, as we pulled into the driveway. “You go inside. I’ll be in as soon as I get the giant marshmallow off the lawn.”