Alien Expert

My wife, as she sometimes does, has suggested a career change. My poetry books never sell any copies, so she frequently says things like “You should write a children’s book,” (I’ve tried. It’s harder than it sounds.) or “You should write a love story like Nicholas Sparks.” Nicholas Sparks is her favorite writer. I fucking hate Nicholas Sparks.
And teaching English, of course,does not classify as a real job at all.
So, I was watching a documentary on space travel, which I frequently do, and she said “You should become an alien expert.”
I said “I am an alien expert,” joking. The more I think about it, though, I kind of am. I mean, as much as anybody else. I’ve watched all the documentaries about famous UFO sightings, formed my own opinions on which ones are fake and which ones might be real (multiple witnesses count for a lot with me, and I’ve seen plenty of movies and TV shows and read lots and lots of books with aliens in them.
I don’t actually know if aliens have visited the Earth or not, which puts me on exactly the same level as Seth Shostak or Michio Kaku, because they don’t know, either.
Here’s what I think: Of course there are aliens, even technologically advanced aliens. The sheer number of stars pretty much guarantees that, especially now that we know how common it is for suns to have planets, and how common water is throughout the universe. Whether or not they’ve visited us is another question entirely. Even if there are aliens galore and a space faring federation of intelligent species going on out there, like Star Trek but without the humans, discovering us here on Earth would be, for them, a needle in a haystack.
So, I’m not expecting first contact to happen tomorrow. But I would think it seriously cool.


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