Monday, January 5, 2009

Broken Toys

Broken toys. The first one is a defining moment. At least the first one you can remember. I mean there is a reason you remember it. Sure, a young child does plenty of damage without consideration, the brain being akin to a conveyor belt in Porky Pig's factory. All dun da dun duh-da duh-da da dun dah. Where’s the stuff come from? Where’s it end up? Who cares? You’re just going along until BOING!!! Diapers, spinach cans and babies spitting out everywhere in every direction. And then you realize, Daffy. Shit…it’s your feathered hand on the lever. It…was…you.

It might have been the front wheel of Evel Knievel’s Chopper, Steve Austin’s right elbow, or Baby Alive’s left leg. Whatever it was, you’ll always remember the sickening snap it made as it came apart in your hands or the dull pop it made before bouncing twice and rolling across the linoleum. Me, I broke one of Mazinga’s plastic missile clips. Third one down the left leg to be exact. Came clean off, and no amount of paste, rubber cement, or super glue seemed to help. I was left with a strange new feeling. It wasn’t a sense of frustrated loss over a toy that I could never again play with. I mean, the clip really didn’t hinder the function of the toy at all. There were five other clips on the right leg, four left on the shoulders, and four remaining on the left leg. The left hand still shot 3 finger missiles with the same life-threatening precision. He was still Mighty Mazinga, Shogun Warrior, standing tall all the way from the bottom of his wheels up to his brain-pod shuttle twenty-four inches above them. Truth be told, I was the one who was broken. For the first time, I felt guilt over an inanimate object, and the sting of consequence. I wanted to crawl into the brain-pod and fly it away from his empty shell. Instead, I popped all of the other missiles off and ran both my hands abruptly up and down the side of each leg. Again and again, snap-crack, until there were no clips left. I sat back for a second, squinted and tried to trick myself into believing Mazinga came that way…that he came right out of the box on Christmas Day that way…that my mother had spent the money she horded every year to buy him exactly as he was. Unfortunately, black plastic leaves grayish-white marks wherever it breaks. The 20 plastic scars overcame my one conscience. I placed Mazinga back in the box, replaced the lid, and put him on the closet shelf next to Raydeen, making certain to face the brightly colored lid to the back of the wall.

Now, you’ll have to humor me the overly sentimental overly romanticized childhood trauma bullshit. You’ll have to give me a pass, man. ‘Cause I just have one question left for you. Where the hell is the box to fit all of this…this shit into? Where? Do they even make one big enough? I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to hop up on the shelf with my nose pressed against the back wall.