the mother of invention

copyright 2011/all rights reserved

 OIL IN WATER

PAM LAZOS

CHAPTER ONE (b)

Marty stopped and laid his face against the side of the metal grate.  It was cool to the touch and not at all indicative of the processes going on inside.  He shook his head and started his hop, skip and jump dance all over again, this time adding an ecstatic laugh to the mix.

He’d done it.  Just like Dr. Frankenstein, he’d brought the beast to life:  his Thermo-Depolymerization Unit, or TDU, lived – years in the making, like nothing the world had ever seen, and until five minutes ago, only a theory.  Marty had envisioned that the TDU would take garbage, computers, old sneakers, last night’s dinner, yard waste, old fence posts, plastic tupperware, with or without lids, old sweatshirts, used ball point pens, broken picture frames, old love letters, paint waste, empty cardboard boxes, broken refrigerators, busted telephone poles, wrecked car parts, or the whole car for that matter, old comic books, unwanted furniture, hell, this machine could take anything carbon-based, and do something magical with it, something that, to date, no one else had figured out how to do – take trash, and convert it into oil –  pure, unadulterated, car-starting, engine-revving, turbo-driving, eighteen-wheeler-moving oil.  Marty figured that the TDU would mimic what Mother Nature did every day hundreds of miles below the earth’s surface:  break down fossils into fuels.  But Marty’s contraption would take about three hours instead of millions of years, combusting nothing, and leaving no waste.  After twenty years of toil, Marty’d had his share of false starts.  But now the whir and hum of booster pumps and coolant fan units was evidence:  modern-day alchemy.  Marty had called down the vision.

But the world had no template for it.  Like the shaman of the first American Indian tribe to come into contact with Columbus, Marty had to mold the vision into a discernible shape, give the people something palpable that they could recognize.  For even as Columbus’s ships approached the shores of the New World, the Indians couldn’t see them, not until their shaman provided them with a frame of reference.

But being a shaman was at times an exhausting, aching and lonely occupation.  So Marty did what any man in his place would do when faced with a discovery of unrivaled proportions.  He propped himself up on the hammock in the corner of the barn and took a nap.

to be continued. . .

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