The Second Coming threatened my adolescence. Every week, the news sent the Evangelicals on a tizzy about the End Times. War between Israel and Egypt – Get right with God! Floods, Typhoons, Earthquakes – Christ is coming! Evil nations with atom bombs – Armageddon!
I walked home from school alone, as all kids did in those days. One autumn, newspapers reported a rash of UFO sightings in our county. I started home at dusk, as the full moon lit up the scuttling clouds, and November leaves rattled behind me. I did not dare to look up, partly out of fear that I might see a blinking UFO hovering near, and partly because this sky was exactly the type pictured in images of Christ’s return. Both options meant that I would lose my beloved Earth. I kept my eyes firmly on the ground in front of me, and walked faster.