Monday, August 02, 2010

the air was a-buzz...

when my wife and i first arrived in new mexico from alaska, she was six months pregnant, and i was hanging out during the day in preparation for my soon-to-be career in stay-home parenting.

for the first month or so after we closed on our house in tularosa, i was occupied emptying boxes, finding suitable places for everything, and trolling the local used furniture shops for a few necessary bits and pieces to complete the place.

once this mission was accomplished, however, and without a regular job to keep me occupied, boredom set in, and i began to wander to and fro in the area, hitting pawn shops, antique stores, and what can only be referred to as "junk bazaars" hoping to find some super cheap bit of awesomeness, or at the very least, an inexpensive guitar or bass project.

on the way to high rolls, just before 82 began to climb steeply into the mountains, was one of these junk shops. it looked like a quonset hut erected to house two, or maybe three, small biplanes, with an extended porch-style roof protecting the larger items such as rusty rototillers and vintage schwinn bicycles from the burning afternoon sun. small american flags lined the chainlink fence, behind which were parked a litter of dusty malfunctioned vehicles and signs invited you in to peruse the large assortment of goods while others assured you that the owner was packing heat and would shoot you rather than dial 911 if you were caught shoplifting.

items for sale ranged from farm equipment to glasswares, furniture too new to be antique and too old to be worth anything, and old costume jewelry. as i worked through aisle after aisle of a mind boggling assortment, i found myself near the back of the store, where there were a few specialized rooms. upon opening one, i found rack after rack of forgotten vinyls and 8-track tapes by bands that no one would recognize anymore. in another, library-style magazine racks featuring "club" and "oui" and other skin mags dating from the late 70's and early 80's.

the last one in the row had a sliding glass door, like it had originally been a porch and had eventually been walled in.

so i slid the panel to the side with difficulty as time and settling had caused the tracks to run askew, and stepped into the porch room.

the light was dimmer, and it seemed to have affected my brain, as all my senses seemed dulled momentarily, and my skin was already running in goosebumps before i even realized anything was going on.

the next thing i thought was that i had finally completely snapped, and my new found rock bottom of insanity had manifested itself in a buzzsaw sound that was growing like an approaching chainsaw in my head. i actually reached up and ran my fingers over my scalp and through my hair as if i half-expected them to encounter the teeth of a blade eating through my skull.

then my eyes cleared and i realized where the sound was coming from. every available wall space in the 20x12 room was floor-to-ceiling with terrariums housing snakes. not just any snakes; rattlesnakes. and each and every one of the possibly 200 snakes was pissed off, and expressing itself by rattling its rattles to create a sound that i could only associate with an armageddon of angry hornets and power tools.

i turned back around and exited the room rapidly, shaking my head as if i had gotten water in my ears and could not get it out.

and i did not go back.

darth sardonic

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