I used to look on the world with the wonder of an eight-year-old boy in a junkyard. Life was filled with confounding pieces and parts found scattered amongst the weeds and wildflowers.
Scavenging and hoarding, I’d bring home my prizes and hide them. Later, with my stash, I’d take it all apart with wrenches and screwdrivers and maybe bloody a knuckle or two. Like Dr. Frankenstein in his lab, old tube radios and TVs and carburetors, dissecting and disassembling, my hope was to one day understand them and make the dead junk work again.
The end plan was to build a spaceship and get out of here. The saddest day was the day I looked at the old junk and realized it was that and nothing more, and I was here and who I was, and nothing more. I’d never be a spaceman, and old junk is exactly that.
All I could afford was what I could steal, and I stole all I needed. The day the grandiose plan went to the weeds, was the day boyhood escaped. I’ve spent the last decades desperately trying to find it again. I don’t need to believe I can fly away to Mars, but simply one more time to find the treasure down in the dead flowers and oil stains and rust.