Take Her Apart

Every new Big Wheel we received as kids came with a huge plastic brake lever over the rear plastic tire promising controlled breaking, a laughable notion to us, kings of recklessness. If you pulled up on the lever, it would send you into a 360 spin or a side drift down Langholm, around the corner, into Westray, at the speeds of Flash Gordon.

During assembly, we’d plead with our father not to install the brake lever. We didn’t need it; we were pros and could use our foot as a pivot point while riding like crazy outlaws.

We tore through childhood on BMX bikes, with a secret handshake and a strict “no girls allowed” policy, popping wheelies until the streetlights came on. We built ramps, defied gravity, and held a vocabulary of grinds, ollies, and kickflips. 

Has the wood from our old skateboards sucked in all the ground moisture it could hold, now growing moss that houses the slugs and insects that birds eat and then shit back to Earth?e on the highway when I am on a road trip with my family in Alaska.

BMX bikes gave way to the soft rolling thunder of our skateboards and launch ramps. Skateboards eventually gave way to the roar of dirt bikes. We dedicated our weekends to wrenching on our bikes, somehow leaving behind a trail of randomly discarded parts on the re-assembly, rusting on the lawn in the morning dew.

Trail riding was some of the best times. We were explorers, pushing boundaries with a taste of real careless freedom. We ripped a flibb, then rode out into the unknown on a newly discovered trail until we ended up lost, out of gas or worse, exhaustion and breakdowns forced us to limp our dirt bikes back to civilization.

Time, the relentless thief, stole our trails that slowly turned into paved bike paths and housing developments. We eventually had no place to ride.

Enter the driver’s license.

The Blue Beast was the first car I owned. I bought it from a dirty mechanic for a grand and change. A baby blue Mercury Lynx hatchback—freedom on four wheels. The Blue Beast witnessed it all, the first scrape with the law, the thrill of forbidden nights with girls, the soundtrack of rebellion blasting from a trunk-mounted speaker. Even now, decades later, the opening riff of Korn’s first album can transport me back to that time.

Thirty years later and unable to sleep, I wonder… what happened to all of this shit? The Big Wheels, the bikes, the skateboards, the cars—what becomes of these discarded pieces of our past?

Have these things turned to dust and been consumed by Earth, decomposing on the ground or in a scrap yard?

take her apart - Way past tipsy - ran kime
take her apart junkyard ran kime

Has the wood from our old skateboards sucked in all the ground moisture it could hold, now growing moss that houses the slugs and insects that birds eat and then shit back to Earth?

Maybe the metal of our old bikes and cars hasn’t met such a peaceful end. Perhaps someone crushed and melted, recycled and re-birthed them into the steel beams of skyscrapers like the new World Trade Tower or the frame of the chair I now sit on.

Where does all of this ‘stuff’ go after we forget about it?

Landfills are overflowing, cemeteries reaching capacity, plugged up with corpses, and even outer space isn’t immune to our discarded trash orbiting around us on the outskirts of our own planet. It’s a staggering thought, this ever-growing mountain of “stuff” from our collective past.

It’s hard not to wonder where all this shit from our childhood is now. Was my Blue Beast, when traded in for my next car, sent to the junkyard for scavengers to pick through for her parts?

I have somehow convinced myself that a guy visiting a junkyard, came across her buried with vines, dust and forgotten dreams and said, “Hey, that was like the car I used to have!” He sees a flicker of his own youth in her rusted shell, an unconscious cosmic connection between us, forged in shared memories. So, he rescues what’s left of her, takes her back to his garage, and gently takes what’s left of her apart. 

Slowly, meticulously, he breathes new life into the Blue Beast. He repairs her, cleans her, paints her, and gives her the love that she once had. Paint gleams, chrome shines, and the engine purrs. Now, completely overhauled, the Beast is alive and well, sitting in the garage of a single dad in Alaska who only takes her out on special occasions for the nostalgia.

And maybe, just maybe, on a future road trip through Alaska, I’ll glimpse her. Almost unnoticed, she buzzes by me, a flash of baby blue on the highway. My heart will skip a beat, a flood of memories wash over me. I excitedly point and say with childhood excitement to my wife and kids, “Hey look, I used to have that same car when I was a kid!”

My children will roll their eyes, oblivious to the flood of emotions and memories playing out within me.; the wife doesn’t budge. 

But that’s okay. In that instant, the Blue Beast shall be reborn, reminding us that certain aspects, like a wandering adolescence, never truly die inside you.

The kids fight, the wife sleeps, and I beam with a flood of giddiness that carries me many more miles with a smile. 

I have a feeling… she is still alive.

Way Past Tipsy - ran kime

Read “Take Her Apart” and other stories by Ran Kime in the collection Way Past Tipsy & Other Silent Cries for Help

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Ran Kime Writer
Ran Kime, a writer, poet, musician and recluse from New Hampshire, crafts abstract stories, flash fiction & poetry that probe the psyche. His collections include “Spectre of the Brocken: Halo for the observer” and “Way Past Tipsy & Other Silent Cries for Help”.