20100603

empire of junk

My best friend in elementary school had a junkyard. All these old tractors and cars just sitting there, all rusty-edged and rotten. We played on them, imagining them to be fortresses, military vessels of all sorts. We imagined a lot in those days, and it was this weird shared vision, based on the stupidest things--even on Asteroids, once, long ago. I never worried about the rusty edges, though my parents warned me time and time again to be careful.

I went back this weekend. I don't know where he's gone--we lost touch and to be honest I'm not even sure I want to get back in touch. The junk is still there, though, just like I remembered it. Maybe a little older, but I guess that's the way everything goes eventually. I climbed onto one of the bigger machines--still don't know what it was--and stood at the wheel, looking out over my little empire of sagebrush and junk. The memories came back like little jagged shards of broken rusty metal. There was a time that I could stand here and feel something besides nostalgia, but it was forever ago. I've lost that now. All I've got left are words.

There's a spider crawling under the steering wheel. She's made a little web there. A whole life. There was probably one there when we were kids, too. I wouldn't have paid it any mind then, but this weekend I just knelt there and stared as she just sat there, completely motionless, waiting for insects that, for all I'd ever know, would never come.

2 comments:

Geo said...

you know what's very sad? nostalgia for nostalgia. wishing you still wished for a better time. I might write about that.
thanks for the well described, inspiring post. it gave me a really quite vivid mental picture and a strange hollow longing for something I never even knew.

Rob said...

thanks! hope it inspires something excellent. sounds like it might.