posted on Mar, 2 2012 @ 03:47 AM
I always go out on my trampoline at night, ever since I was a child. Jumping and flipping into the darkened sky was my way of easing the stress of the
day. The headphones would blast whatever music I was into at the time and I would lose myself in the reverie my mind created as I moved.
Tonight was no different. I had just pulled into my driveway after a night out with friends: dinner, a few drinks at the bar, and some embarrassing
karaoke solos. It was only 11:30 and I still had the energy from the last few hours coursing through me so I unplugged my iPod from the center consol
of the car and made my way inside the house.
My dogs greeted me as I came in; and after the customary dog-fest that occurs every time I enter my house, I went to my room to change into
more trampoline appropriate clothes (it was February, so they needed to be warm as well as form fitting). I ended up going with black pants and a
black bouclé turtleneck sweater.
Gently placing the ear buds into my ears (and maneuvering the right ear bud around the tragus piercing), I stepped outside into the cold, dark night
as my dogs followed gleefully through the doggie door. I crawled onto the 14 foot diameter trampoline and then walked up and down the length of it as
a way to center myself before I started jumping. It’s much easier for my body to follow a straight line as it twists and flips through the air, so
then my muscles are aware of where I am on the trampoline even though my mind isn’t paying attention.
I scrolled through my iPod before beginning to jump. Tonight I began with Space & Time by VNV Nation. The cold air ripped through my lungs for the
first few minutes as I adjusted to the frigid winter night. And occasionally I would notice a slight illumination from an airplane flying directly
above. But, being so close to Logan Airport, I’m used to seeing planes overhead.
The sky tonight was exceptionally clear. I had noticed it earlier in the night while standing outside the bar with my friends while they smoked. But
now, alone on the trampoline, farther away from the city, the clarity was more distinct than ever. I stopped jumping for a minute, just to look up
into the sky and soak up all the celestial bodies that I could see.
I had noticed in the past few months that Jupiter has been more prominent in the sky than usual. At first it alarmed me because I hadn’t made the
connection between the gigantic new star in the sky and Jupiter. My curiosity of what that new star was wasn’t quelled until my
boyfriend downloaded the Google Sky App for his phone and pointed the camera at the new star. When Google told me that it was just Jupiter, my
conspiracy-filled mind calmed down some. Although tonight, Jupiter looked brighter than usual. I just chocked it up to the unusual clarity of the sky.
Returning to my original jumping routine, I didn’t notice the shooting star which traversed the night sky above me until it disappeared over the
horizon and resulted in a bright flash of light.
I stopped jumping.
In the past thirteen years of being outside at night, I had never seen a shooting star create a dawn-like brightness in the west. The only thing I
could think of was war. What other explanation could there be?
I jumped off the trampoline, pulled out my ear buds and was about to run inside to check the news until I noticed another “shooting star”
which appeared as though it originated from Jupiter. So I halted and reversed my steps. I even got back up on the trampoline in order to aid my
vision. The whole time, I never took my eyes off of that bright star that Google told me was Jupiter.
Meanwhile, my dogs had all run inside. Apparently they knew something I didn’t. Whereas I was still on the trampoline looking up into the night
sky, finding myself grateful that I had kept my contacts in so that I could at least see what was happening clearly. Another light was expelled
towards the earth seemingly from Jupiter. The frequency of the “shooting stars” was increasing. But none of them created the same kind of effect
as the first one. I reasoned that it was because these subsequent ones didn’t hit us. I couldn’t have possibly known what was really happening
outside our little island: Earth.
I stayed on the trampoline and watched another dozen or so “stars” fall from Jupiter before I decided to go inside and check the internet. As I
walked in from the backyard, the dogs didn’t greet me. I made my way into my bedroom and heard my phone going off. Deciding to check the phone
first, I diverted into the living room. I had multiple texts from my friends in the city telling me that there was something in Boston Common and
everyone was going to meet there. My lack of responsibilities and sense of adventure kicked in, so I grabbed my camera and ran out to the car.
Knowing that I wouldn’t be the only person heading into the city to see what was happening, I opted to travel down back roads rather than take the
main ones. I think that was the only reason I even made it into the city successfully. I parked my car on some obscure side street that wasn’t
Resident Permit Parking Only (which seemed like a miracle in itself that I was able to find such a street in Boston). And I ran down Commonwealth Ave
towards the Common.