I passed a flatbed truck on I-81 a few hours ago, a truck that bore on its flatness this monstrous piece of, I assume, equipment. The thing was massive and rusted and flared out in all directions with endless sprockets and gears and springs, levers, turbines, bolts.
I wondered about its possible use, no doubt industrial, maybe military . . . it almost resembled the skeleton of some ancient alien beast, the sort of thing space travelers encounter in the movies when they move in to explore some erratic blips on their oscilloscopes.
If women ruled the world, I thought, no such behemoth would have been constructed; or if we had remained proto-human, the thing, sunken in some bog, might be worshipped. I glance over at the driver of the truck as I passed. He wore a baseball cap and a cigar butt dangled from his lip as he thumped the dash with his free palm to some music I could not hear.
Why do I presume country?
He seemed an ordinary enough fellow hauling a cargo of pure evil to a hive of clandestine saboteurs— merely the delivery boy who, if questioned, might snap I don’t know nothing.
And at this moment I spin backwards in time to a cave in Cumae where the sibyl, enshrouded in incense and smoke, intones gibberish we once took as wisdom.
We dismiss such muttering as superstition, magic, primitive, worthless babble; we deem the monstrosity as progress. We flick on the lights and our houses shine.