Sunday, November 30, 2014

Mnemovore: The Bombs

Age: Somewhere around 10.

If you wandered through the woods surrounding our home, jumping barbed-wire fences, evading angry bulls and scrambling through cedar scrub, you would come to this strange dumping ground of large mechanical objects. Not a scrapyard, really, but just this half-acre field in the middle of nowhere, filled with not your run-of-the-mill "mechanical objects" but these strange devices that to this day I have no idea what they could be. Large rectangular things easily 5 feet wide by 3 feet deep and 8 feet tall, covered in buttons and dials. Levers and knobs. Reading devices, gauges. Lots and lots of gauges.

There were probably 10-15 of them, this weird, button-filled metal Stonehenge, and they hadn't previously been in the field --which we had trespassed through on numerous occasions-- when Jimmy and I discovered them. Actually, that's not true. I discovered them first, as this was my regular stomping ground, while Jimmy lived in town and only came out for sleepovers every few weeks, and we didn't always go this route through the woods during our explorations... so I had already found them and become excited about the possibilities of what they were before showing them to him.

Bombs, obviously. Possibly alien transport devices, but probably bombs. This made the most sense to my brain at this point in time, filled as it was with "The Day After" and "V."

I remember when I first found them. I roamed among them, touching their scorching-hot sides with my fingertips, tentative about the buttons. Who knew what the would do? Perhaps a wrong touch would send my brains scattering across the prickly pear around me, splashing them with grey matter and gore, bits of flesh hanging on their thorns, leaving my body this twitching thing, baking in the sun, pecked at by vultures.

Or -more appealing but still frightening- I could get snagged up into outer space via some teleportation device. Yes, I knew what teleportation was at that age.... I read the X-Men.

While the idea of getting whisked away to some civilization across the galaxy had a tremendous amount of draw, I came back to the bomb idea.

So it was that when I first brought Jimmy out to see them, I felt completely, 100%,  assured in myself when I told him they were bombs, and we had to let someone know about them.

Cue Goonies music. Off we go, racing back through the woods to my house, where we grab our bikes and head for the highway... to a coworker of my mothers house. I have NO idea why we decided on her, this person whose name I can't recall when I can recall so many other trivial names from that time. She was a lifeguard at the pool my mother supervised, but beyond that I recall nothing.

But she was going to figure it all out. Somehow help us save the world from.... ummmm.... big metal cabinets dumped in the woods. That could be bombs. SHE would know what to do.

About 4 miles down the highway (okay, it may have been about a half-mile) the south Texas sun is doing its mid-summer asphalt-melting finest to drain every ounce of strength from our bodies, to divert us from our task of saving humanity. Or we may just have been easily distracted. Probably the latter. Whatever the reason, we're done. It's no longer important.

We pull off to the side of the road, toss our bikes in the ditch (it was rural Texas, no one was going to steal them) and scramble over the tangled barbed-wire fence that runs alongside the road, heading on to discover our next world-saving adventure.

Or possible bombs/teleportation devices.