Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Good To Be Home (A Post Apocalypse Moment)

The last few days had been strenuous, and getting shot hadn't helped, but at least he was home.  The old man decided to sit for a moment after reaching the top of the first ladder.  It had been a long day, more tiring than most.  As he sat there, appreciating the shade, he noticed something that he hadn't seen before.  An inscription, etched into the rock, on the underside of an ancient layer of stone, well protected from the elements, and not readily in view.  "Pin + Lola".  Crudely scraped into the rock, such that each letter was formed from a series of straight lines.  For example, the "O" consisted of four lines making a sort of diamond or crystal shape.

He had noted other such marks over the years, impressed upon "his" little island in the desert.  Each hinted at a bit of the history of his ancient home.  There had certainly been many here before him.  he suspected that the owner of the hand print on the opposite side of the "shelf" might be the oldest.  No doubt an artifact of a Native American, though probably of an older variety than what his contemporaries would have once associated with the term.

Also, there were remnants of the outline of a shield or coat of arms if you will, with the letters "HD" contained within, he wondered if it was simply a fan of motorcycles, or if the perpetrator might have shared the initials.

Just under the lip at the top was a reminder that "Ted waz here", at least once upon a time.  The old man couldn't decide if that one predated his lifetime or not.  It might have been from a century prior.  In one of the crevices along the climb, he had once found five beer cans still held by a plastic binding, the pull tabs were still in place, but all of the cans had corroded at the bottom, and had dispensed their contents prior to the old man's arrival.

After climbing the second ladder, while hoisting it from its perch, his wound ached, and he was more conscious than usual of the ghosts who shared his little mesa.  What was "Pin" short for, and did Lola have green eyes?  He would no doubt ponder these and many other questions for many hours.  He did this from time to time, revisiting the thoughts about the inscriptions, slowly building images in his mind of each "author's" appearance.

Later, as he lay in his makeshift bed, under his makeshift roof, he reached down, picking up the last tomato from the wooden box left by the she-soldier, and imagined the ghosts of Pin and Lola, of Ted, the hand, and others sharing this cool evening on top of the their mesa, and considered that one day, his ghost would join them.  Maybe tomorrow, he would leave his signature for a future resident of the mesa to find.  Or maybe, he would simply leave his ghost.

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