Sunday, April 17, 2011

Camino Street Bomb Shelter

I remember the cellar so dark I am afraid to move. Jars stocked on shelf, bright colored, full of canning. 300 year old peaches and, God forbid we should ever be forced here by missles sent from Cuba, pickled beets. Mushy pale pears. I would rather die from nuclear caused alien growths, oozing green, than eat those pickled beets. Mother says it would be like camping. We would be in the room, the nuclear shelter, a home accessory included in every house plan of the early sixties. I cannot imagine being stuck with my father for God knows how long in a small cement room, amongst the camping gear and pickled beets. (I love him very much but he has a need to fill the quiet with his own voice). I would surely snap after just a few hours of his talk with no escape. I remember that house on Camino Street. Life contained to the upper floor until my brother grows old enough, maybe Junior High, when he moves to the basement, with the spiders. The spiders in the bomb shelter/ camping room, pickled beet emporium, abandon their body shells to the bottom of empty canning jars. Empty pots. Every container seems to contain the skeletal remains of what once must have been a gargantuan spider. Crisp. Obviously dead and still so threatening. I had nightmares about that bomb shelter. In the time of day I would dare myself to enter that room. Thrilling in the terror just a little, if only to run in, past the blind entryway, to face the empty, mocking echo that repeated back the thump of my own heart. Why do we dare ourselves to go into unsafe territory? The thrill I remember, the terror of these self imposed ventures into horror I feel again, in this life, as I venture into a painful, self inflicted verb.

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