My head feels all sawdusty and words, no matter how much I may want them to flow, are rusted stuck, like the wheel nuts on an old cumbersome truck, lying cockeye in the grass with peeling paint and a tree growing through it.
We used to play in an old truck like this behind the carpentry workshop. It was an old yellow mercedes I think, the springs showing through the crumbling seats and listing to one side. It had a sortof trapdoor roof that gave us much joy, allowing us to pretend we were soldiers in a tank. It was littered with heavy maybe-one-day-this-could-be-salvaged junk, rusted bits of crankshaft that wouldn't budge, grooved unidentifiable chunks of metal whose powdery rust you could apply as war paint. The old worn gearstick was smooth and fitted perfectly in my small hand. I'd alternate between jiggling the gearstick back and forth, back and forth, clanging loudly and wildly hanging on to the steering wheel with my scrawny arms, gripping tightly and juddering along as if I was careering down a corrugated road, out of control.
And what perfect hiding places for snakes and scorpions. Now that I have a child of my own I seriously wonder how my parents managed to keep from going white haired and frizzy with worry. People were always finding cobras and puffadders behind the carpentry workshop. Granted we weren't really allowed to play in that old truck and they probably didn't know we were there but seriously, what kid could resist?
The truck, if I remember correctly, was yet another broken relic of my grandfather's sense of business. Which has been passed down the generations along with the crooked nose. We always were - and still are - blessed with an extraordinary inability to see the business logic of things (certainly the maths of it) - though this is countered with great dollops of enthusiasm , like clotted cream masking the fizzy taste of bananas that have been left in the sun just that bit too long.
Like the camp he gave away in exchange for roof tiles he swopped that truck was for something. I forget what.
My grandfather was always very frugal with Stuff. He always said 'don't get possessed by your possessions.' He had so little, yet wanted so little. He had all he needed I guess. A great - if slightly off kilter - family who adored him, good health. A small rustic camp that he shared with his family in one of the most beautiful soulful, spots on earth.
Oh, I was going somewhere else with this story, but I got a little sidetracked with the whole truck as mind metaphor. I was going to tell you more about my grandfather. His history. If you're interested have a look here