I Hope There Are Aliens

Wouldn't it be a sad story if we had all this to ourselves?

Wouldn’t it be a sad story if we had all this to ourselves?

On an April Fools’ Day long before the one my wife chose to vacate our home, the local newspaper ran a large photo of alien spacecraft hovering in the night sky.

The headline indicated UFOs had visited our small Ohio town.

I was captivated.

Enchanted.

Bewitched.

Just a young boy.

I had never seen or heard “War of the Worlds.”

We were still years away from Will Smith very believably punching a large alien trying to emerge from its wrecked aircraft with a sharp-witted “Welcome to Earth” in “Independence Day.”

Even further away was M. Night Shyamalan’s “Signs.” You know the movie. It’s the one with aliens that will die if they get too much water on them. They are smart enough to conquer the physics of interstellar travel but are not smart enough NOT to invade a planet with a surface covered 71 percent by water, which regularly experiences rainfall and has microscopic water droplets suspended in the breathable air in most geographic locations.

Anyway.

I wasn’t scared of aliens. I didn’t know better.

All I knew was that I was fascinated with the unknown outside our planet. Outside our solar system. Outside our galaxy.

I’ve spent countless nights staring into the night sky.

Every single star representing a solar system. Every solar system representing an opportunity for more life to exist.

Maybe there’s someone out there seeing our sun in the night sky. Maybe there’s someone out there wondering whether we’re here. Maybe there are more people like us.

The newspaper story was a joke, of course. But I didn’t want it to be.

I don’t believe in conspiracy theories.

I’ve met people who have been inside Area 51. There are MANY secret things there, they say. Things they won’t talk about. But there are no extraterrestrials or wrecked alien spaceships inside, they say.

Of course, that’s EXACTLY what people protecting the secret would say.

But, still.

In my experience, things that sound like far-fetched nonsense typically prove out to be exactly that.

But I do believe in math. Math is the most-provable thing I know of. Pure truth.

And here’s an elementary breakdown of the math.

Why There Might Be Aliens

The nearest thing to Earth besides our moon is the planet Mars. Mars is 34.2 million miles away. Depending on how much fuel we’re willing to burn we can get an unmanned spacecraft to Mars in anywhere from 150-300 days.

We cannot figure out how to safely send humans to and from Mars. It hasn’t been tried.

We cannot get to the next-closest thing in our solar system.

This is where I need you to stay with me.

Earth is in a solar system. The thing with nine planets orbiting the sun. (Eat shit, science! Pluto is STILL a planet in my universe! My very educated mother just served us nine pizzas!)

This is where brains start exploding…

There are an estimated 100 BILLION solar systems in the Milky Way galaxy. Our galaxy.

The Hubble Space Telescope, combined with the best computer models in the world, estimate 500 BILLION galaxies.

There’s no point in even typing out 50 trillion. Our brains can barely process a number as large as one billion.

Hopefully, you see my point. Even if we eliminate 99 percent of those solar systems due to inhospitable living conditions, we’re still left with (if my lousy math skills are correct) about 500 billion opportunities for life to exist.

And we can’t even get to Mars.

A Table For One

I had breakfast at one of my favorite little mom-and-pop breakfast diners this morning.

“Just one?” they ask.

“Yeah. Just me.”

That’s always embarrassing.

There was a wife or girlfriend on the other side of the table from every guy in the small eatery.

I always wonder how many women are out there like me. Maybe wondering whether some guy just like me is eating alone somewhere. Maybe wondering whether they’re the only single person staying in on a Saturday night and wishing they weren’t—or at least not doing so alone.

We crave connection. Maybe not all of us. But most of us.

I hope you believe that I believe I’m not just going to be this cooped-up single guy forever. I have every confidence there will be someone on the other side of the breakfast table from me someday.

I think about that girl sometimes.

Where is she now?

Does she live close?

Do I already know her?

That connection, however long or short, will change my life.

That’s scary in a way. To invite more change into a life where change has been my worst enemy.

I don’t like whining here about being alone. And I hope it doesn’t seem like whining.

Especially after being on my soapbox yesterday about choosing ourselves and taking personal responsibility for the state of our lives.

It’s just another lonesome benediction. Can I get a witness? Written to some bluesy, soulful southern tunes being belted by the magnificent Kristy Lee who I finally got to meet and hear live last night.

Not so different really than those late summer nights in my youth staring into the majesty of our sky.

Into the universe. I can see for miles.

Just hoping there’s someone like me out there. Believing in my existence. Hoping I’m here, too.

I hope that person exists.

And I hope there are aliens.

You know. Nice ones.

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68 thoughts on “I Hope There Are Aliens

  1. jessiesgirl says:

    She’s out there, Matt. And you will be the answer to each others’ prayers. She will show up exactly when and how she’s supposed to…probably when you least expect it. It’s not a matter of “if”…just “when.” She will love you. She will love your son. She will make your life complete. About this, I have no doubt. Hugs!

    Like

  2. Use a lot,of times to find yourself, before you find a new woman. Them you will be more ready. Just an advice.
    Irene

    Like

  3. Dawn says:

    When my son was in 4th grade, he became uncharacteristically quiet and withdrawn. As a mom, I started to wonder if he was being abused by someone, or bullied. I was ready to go into full blown crazy mom on some poor bastard who would hurt my child.
    One night, he sat in the next room while I cooked dinner. Out of nowhere he mentioned how his teacher had discussed an article where they had found “life” on another plant. He then started to tell me how there have been a lot of shows about “aliens” on tv lately. I probed a little and found out that Cartoon Network had been doing a series of alien themed shows. Then we discussed how “life” could mean so much more than just “people” type beings. I also told him that if he had seen all the alien stuff on CNN he might have a little more room to worry…but not Cartoon Network.
    I was relieved that I would not have to beat the life out of anyone…but confused how a child who was a HUGE Star Wars fan, could be so over wrought with fear over the idea of aliens.

    As for the “I am not alone” thing…I wonder the same thing. Who is he? When will it be our time?

    Life’s big questions…

    Like

  4. you are creeping me out with some of our similarities. I just told my friends that I’m going to (for the first time in my life) eat at a restaurant intentionally by myself and blog about the experience and title it “table for one.” You kinda stole my thunder, dude.

    I still intend to do it, twice. Once at a table and once at a …bar? (bar counter – not a BAR) maybe….

    anyway, I also told my friend that I was encouraged to find you because if there was a you, there in Ohio, then there must be a “You” HERE in California. Mine’s a bigger gamble but I believe!! so…if there’s a me here in in California, then there’s gotta be a “me” there in Ohio.

    and you’d be lucky to have “me”. ;-)

    and I pray you are wrong about aliens. they’re never nice.

    Like

    • Matt says:

      :)

      I’ll keep that in mind. Thank you. Apologies for taking your post idea and putting it in a subhead!

      E.T. was nice. And he liked Reese’s Pieces. Which are awesome.

      And E.T. was real, obviously.

      So. There’s that.

      Like

  5. runningintothelight says:

    This is the first time I’ve read your blog…..I happened upon it looking through the wordpress feed. It seems you write from your heart instead of your head, which is a compliment as a writer and a reader. Thanks for sharing part of your journey of this messy life we all live in, I look forward to reading more.

    Tracey

    Like

    • Matt says:

      Thank you so much.

      That’s probably true. You’ll read all kinds of moronic things here from time to time, proving I certainly am not always using my head.

      I really appreciate you checking it out and leaving such a nice note.

      Like

  6. runningintothelight says:

    You’re welcome……I can relate to not always using my head. Though, I have found almost all of my good decisions start from my heart and eventually travel to my head, including starting my own blog:)

    Happy writing.

    Like

  7. They are there. That girl and the aliens (the nice ones). Although they might don’t always show up in any expected way. But that’s part of the fun. ;)

    Change always feels a bit scary (ok, sometimes more than a bit…). But in spite of the fear we can choose to experience the path as adventure. :)

    Much love,
    Steffi

    Like

    • Matt says:

      Thank you for addressing the aliens.

      They are just as much a part of this as the single people.

      :)

      Adventure. Yeah. Maybe. But I’m going to have to drink a lot for tonight to turn into anything adventure-like.

      Like

  8. nancygoodman says:

    “Just hoping there’s someone like me out there. Believing in my existence. Hoping I’m here, too.”

    I love that line! I hope there’s someone out there hoping I’m here too. I’m going to think about that being now and maybe someday…

    Like

    • Matt says:

      I think there’s a whole lot of someones like us.

      But the connections are so much harder to make as adults. As parents. As busy people with bigger priorities than our social lives.

      Everything’s different now.

      But we’ll get there, I think.

      Maybe not to Mars. But probably to breakfast with someone pretty great.

      Baby steps.

      Like

  9. neffy93 says:

    I’m with you and the maths, there has to be aliens out there and there has to be your breakfast buddy out there too… I’m just hoping they’re not one and the same and you wind up with a funky green, one eyed breakfast buddy :P Time reveals everything, somethings we’ll have time to see come to pass, other things might take a while longer than we have, but we cans till think about them all the same :D

    Like

  10. Julie says:

    Matt, that girl alien is going to be there and find you when you least expect it. Stars will collide and these longings of your heart will be fulfilled. I think all the broken pieces will get glued together.
    I am hopeful.
    All good things will come.
    All great things are worth the wait.
    Being patient is hard.
    xx

    Like

    • Matt says:

      I see what you did there. :)

      I’m not a big Star Trek guy, but word around the campfire is that Captain Kirk used to bed green alien chicks.

      That’s not exactly what I had in mind when I said I believed in the possibility of extraterrestrial life.

      But, you know, beggars can’t be choosers, my mom always used to say.

      Appreciate you reading very much.

      Like

  11. Fellow stargazer I too am praying for nice aliens, I am not keen on the James Cameron kind unless Ripley is cloned many many times over…

    Like

  12. mjmsprt40 says:

    Gee, I don’t know. Do you think I should, er— tell them??
    OK. On some forums, I am an undocumented space alien. It says so, right under my name. It’s said so for several years now. One of those forum systems is about to close so I won’t be an undocumented space alien there anymore, but the other system still thrives so I’ll be an undocumented space alien there for– until I grow tired of it and change the title.

    About the other thing: Divorce kinda (real bad word) doesn’t it? Mine was particularly nasty, and was followed by having to declare bankruptcy, so I’ve been in no big hurry to do that again. I’ll be alone this Valentines Day, as it has been four years now.

    But, for the sake of this thread, now you can say you have proof– questionable proof but proof all the same– that there ARE aliens and one of them replied to your post.

    (Doggone it, never a smiley when you really need one. Drat.)

    Like

  13. Aliens did it! I love the show Ancient Aliens and man, they have some pretty darn compelling evidence that we have already been visited by aliens. And just cause we haven’t figured out how to travel in space doesn’t mean that they haven’t!! Look at some of the ancient ruins, there are pictures of people in space suits! There are also pictures of spaceships! And what if our stories of angels are really ancient aliens? What is the flying gods are really spaceships? Aliens would be awesome!
    Of course, they also tend to show up before major events… Like the plague. And on every TV and movie show, well, the aliens have not been nice. So. Maybe not so awesome.
    Oh, and you’ll find someone blah blah blah.

    Like

  14. dorothyemyers says:

    Big Star Trek fan! Yeah, Kirk got a lap dance from a green girl.

    Big Carl Sagan fan! He wrote Contact, among a pile of other accomplishments, but that movie was all about aliens, then faith got heaped on, and the complexities of the human condition too.

    I wondered why you were talking about the aliens…

    I get it, same feeling, your piece reminded me of the movie Contact, having faith that there’s life out there, it adds up, but it’s tough to have that faith and stay open to it, especially in the face of skeptics, and even our own inevitable doubts.

    Good posts, you nailed that feeling, will we find our person? Do we get that second chance? It seems so massive and impossible sometimes, but it also feels like it can’t not happen.

    Like

  15. http://www.anselm.edu/homepage/dbanach/sym.htm

    You will find her. Just believe. Weave her into your story. I think I have told this to you before. Write her into your life, sparing no details. Make sure none of her qualities are on your anti- bucket list! :) Remember, all things are temporary. This too will pass.

    Like

  16. garden2day says:

    I giggle under my breath. I was trying to write a blog post this week about the universe–where I remember my young days of staring out at night watching the stars wondering if there were others staring back. The odds…yeah…pretty good for alien life of some sort.

    Unsolicited advice (apologies): Keep thinking positive. I know where you are coming from…if I could just get the poo off my shoe and back to some normalcy. There are a lot of women that fit the bill who are looking for the same thing. Many of us wonder if the right guy will ever come along again–we wonder if we will ever be happy like we believed we were before whatever happened..you get the idea. In the meantime, when you see those couples and you feel alone…think about how many of those individuals are unhappy and wish they were you. That was supposed to help..just ignore if it doesn’t. It’ll happen for you.

    Back to trying funny… You can hope aliens make it here soon and maybe you can find a nice female? I’m sorry. It’s late. I will stop. :D

    Like

  17. jjbiener says:

    Hey, Matt. I completely agree with you about there being aliens out there. The numerical odds pretty much guarantee it. That said, the movie version of the malevolent alien just doesn’t make sense from an evolutionary standpoint. In order to conquer space travel, a species would have to master cooperation otherwise the society would self-destruct before ever getting off planet. If a species were to able to travel hundreds of light-years and they discovered life on our little blue marble, why destroy us? For our resources? There are billions of uninhabited planets that could be plundered, Why pick on us? I think anyone who finds us would be as happy as we would be to find them. I doubt I will live to see it, but someday we will make contact with an alien species and it will be the greatest day in our history.

    On your other subject, someday the right woman will come along. There is someone for everyone. I am living proof. If I could find someone, it is a lock that you will too. If you haven’t seen it or haven’t seen it in a while, find a copy of the film LA Story starring Steve Martin. It was a source of hope for me before I met my wife, and it is a constant reminder now that I have found her. I hope it helps.

    Love the blog.

    Like

    • Matt says:

      Appreciate you writing this! Thoughtful. On several levels. You make very reasonable observations about how illogical an attack would seem. My only devil’s advocate retort would be: terrorism. Decisions don’t always make sense to everyone. But still. I agree with your points. A pretty cool idea.

      And I have seen L.A. Story, but have almost no recollection of the details. That’s like Roxanne, and Planes, Trains and Automobiles territory–time wise.

      Thank you very much for writing. Really appreciate it. :)

      Like

  18. elbrookman says:

    There is an ass for every seat they say in the car business. Pinto, Buick la sabre , Chevy cruise, take a cab , Honda civic, Silverado, bicycles, mopeds, or my favorite, the big fat Budweiser delivery truck… …..it is all out there. Some woman will walk onto the Matt lot and you will greet her and say; “What will it take to put you in a Matt Mobile today?” She may take you for a test drive or complain your ashtrays are filled up. Other times you will walk onto their lot and wonder if you can get financing on a fine piece of metal. Just keep taking test drives….. As for the Aliens….they exist….I woke up in bed with a few and realized just like Canadians, they all have three nipples.

    Like

  19. cjriordan says:

    Have you ever watched someone who was unaware they were being observed? Perhaps around the corner of an aisle at the grocery store, surreptitiously peeking over the box of oatmeal in your hand at the pretty woman reading cereal box labels? Sitting in your car in traffic, casually glancing at the guy in the SUV who is performing a two-knuckle deep exploration of his nostril?

    Yeah. That is what the aliens are doing with Earth. We don’t know we are being watched, because we are not able to think on that grand a scale without a computer or visual aides. But they are peeking around a galaxy at us, watching and waiting to see what we will do next.

    One of them is probably shaking their tentacles at the lonely guy sitting solo in a restaurant. He knows the feeling. His mate packed her slime and hopped an interstellar transport to live with a guy whose tentacles were bigger.

    He’s quietly watching. And he’s rooting for you. ;)

    Like

  20. moi says:

    I think that there are ALiens too, and I think that there is someone out there for you too.

    Like

  21. At first I was thinking you’d been watching some Dazed and Confused before you started writing about how expansive the universe is. ;-) Great analogy, though!

    I completely understand what you’re talking about when it comes to dining alone. You’re braver than me, though. I very rarely do it, but I’m also overly self-conscious when it comes to those things. One thing that does help in those situations is to remind myself that other people’s lives are rarely as perfect as they seem. Someone who’s miserable and trapped in an unhappy relationship might look at eating alone as a long-overdue vacation. It’s all a matter of perspective, I guess.

    There is absolutely someone out there for you. In fact, probably numerous someones. Just like there are probably numerous civilizations out there. It’s just a matter of being open to the possibilities. As I get older, I find my list of requirements gets shorter, and not because I think it will be more difficult to find those things, but because they matter less to me. I’ll stick by the traits that I know I absolutely need to be happy — happiness is my ultimate goal, after all — but the rest tend to become optional because true happiness may come in the form of something I never imagined. :)

    Like

    • Matt says:

      Seem like you have your priorities straight and that you lean heavily on experience and gained wisdom.

      I hope I can figure out how to do the same. :)

      Thank you so much, Gail.

      Like

      • The priorities are questionable sometimes. :) In a nutshell, I try not to have any regrets. The key is to make sure I learn something from every situation, regardless of how painful the lesson. If I didn’t learn, then it was an opportunity lost, and shame on me. I also think that we can’t grow spiritually if we don’t allow ourselves to be exposed to pain and challenges. I certainly don’t seek those things out, but I do understand and appreciate the role they play.

        Like

  22. knace says:

    Love this! She’s out there…somewhere! One disagreement I have with those self help gurus who talk about the power of visualizing stuff to make it a reality is what happens to me is almost always what I WASN’T picturing. So if your life is like mine, she will be a wonderful surprise.
    p.s. I am convinced there are aliens walking among us. ;) As a matter of fact there is a housekeeper at the hospital who I am convinced is an undercover alien. He is just so odd, but in a very appealing way. I should write a blog post about him.

    Like

  23. […] A huge concrete porch where I spent countless hours playing. Barbecuing with my grandfather. Staring at the majesty of the vast night sky. […]

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