“I find them everywhere. Discarded objects from another time. The old folks are the only ones who remember the magic these shattered wooden cabinets possessed at one time.
They say these boxes contained a powerful light that could show you pictures of anything you might possible imagine. The old ones also tell stories of electricity and global telecommunications.
Each morning, my father and the other workers attempt to reconstruct a row of shacks that border the remains of a railroad station. Sometimes, a figure appears walking on the tracks in the distance. Usually, these strangers don’t say that much, and before you know it, they’re on their way before the sun goes down. This is our only contact with other places.
Every afternoon when the steeple bell rings, we gather at the last building that still stands on main Street, the one with the Latin inscriptions and roman numerals. Our teacher, who was a fireman during the devastation, hopes that someday he will be able to interpret these words for us. Last week, we read a book called “The Grapes of Wrath” written during the previous century by an author named John Steinbeck. Our teacher said America always changed too fast, like when the dust made the farmers move to California. He said the new strangers were called something like oak trees. But I don’t really understand.”
© John Fekner