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.


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.