You can feel it in your ears. After two days of nonstop traveling in the backseat of a Grand Am with only one hour of sleep in 48 hours, we finally decided to pull over in Roswell. Its 2:25 a.m. and Gwen, Jena and myself decided to go grab something to eat at a 24 hour diner. Right outside the restaurant window is the Alien Spacecraft UFO Research Center, and to the right of us is a snow cone booth called “Alien Snow”. In fact, Main St. is lined with nothing but alien gift shops, alien museums, and on the walls of long ago abandoned buildings are paintings of big-eyed, short green men created by amateur artists. We have been keeping our eyes open for extraterrestrial activity but unfortunately the only alien we will be seeing tonight is a young man in his twenties wearing a baseball hat on backwards, no shirt, and a goatee surrounding a rat-like smile staring at us from the outside of the building. He is about 5 feet away from our car. He just keeps staring. The Beatles are playing through the speakers as my friends and I continue to plan an escape route out to the car. The final decision was to ask the guys at the table across from us to escort us to the car. This was not safe in itself but we didn’t have much of a choice. By this time our alien friend was gesturing violently outside talking to himself, first laughing and then screaming into the night air. The neon light of our hotel sign was turned off as we pulled into the parking lot at 4 a.m. “I am so tired I can’t sleep.” A phrase I’ve heard before but never could quite comprehend. I now do.
Just a small town surrounded by desolation but put on the map by one isolated incident that happened more than forty years ago.