I was just outside with my dogs, and I looked up at the sky. I look up at the sky every time I take the kids out at night, because I love the stars. I always have. Tonight, I was looking up, thinking about how, as a child, my night skies had more stars than the night skies do now. I know, of course, it's due to environmental pollutants and what have you, but it made my heart hurt to think, just for a second, that it might be because the stars were dying out. One more species of shiny things our human existence has extinguished.
In any event, I stood there thinking about the night skies of my childhood, and I recalled something.
I was around nine when my father started molesting me. That makes little difference to this recollection, other than the awareness of how young I was.
I loved the stars back then, as I do now. Maybe more. Back then they held the hope of freedom for me. Shortly after everything started, I would go out into my front yard at night with a flashlight, and I would turn it on and point it at the sky. The beam seemed to go on and on forever, and I was certain that Captain Kirk would see it. He'd come investigate of course. He'd have to - something like a strange beam into space wouldn't go unnoticed. He'd investigate, and I'd tell him what was happening, and he'd believe me, and he'd take me away to somewhere safe, where no one would hurt me anymore.
But night after night, no ship came. I got it into my head that I needed to learn Morse Code. You see, I'd surmised that the reason Captain Kirk never responded to my distress call must be because he didn't know it *was* a distress call. If I could learn Morse Code, it would be crystal clear.
I'd forgotten all about that, until tonight. I never did learn Morse Code.