Friday, July 17, 2015

ESE on the Road, pt. 6

Albuquerque International Sunport. 

What exactly is a "Sunport?"

It's all sandy tan and cool torqoise, signifying considerable effort to make the place seem more "native." That's offset by the rows of stores, bars, and eateries, flagrant displays of capitalism. Prices of all products hiked up due to a captive market. Sparkly rocks, Southwest Art, all manner of tourist junk. Replica dinosaur fossils for the kids. Kitschy, cheap, "day of the dead" art as pictured above in the post. A mid to late teen was buying a New Mexico t-shirt, a New Mexico flag, and earnestly interrogating the cashier for answers as to where he can find a New Mexico visor.

Apparently he is collecting shit from all 50 states.

Bernard got hassled by the same clerk about his credit card. It's nice that there's at least one merchant out there who checks these things, but I'm certain Bernard does not share that opinion.

Computer-like voices remind us not to smoke in the airport and to be mindful of unattended baggage. Thank you for your cooperation. Start a new life in the off world colonies.

For whatever reason, airports always make me think of William Gibson. Not sure why. Maybe it's because his characters are always inhabiting interzones, not yet elsewhere but not really here. That's probably one reason why I placed my Gibson tribute of a short story in an airport.

We spent our last day in New Mexico at the National Museum of Nuclear Science and History. I was able to indulge my fear of/fascination with nuclear war. Here are pictures from the day:

I'm considering jumping on one of those and acting out the Cher video. "If I could turn back time..."

Atomic pile from the University of Chicago, rendered in Lego.

I am a sucker for dioramas.

War is over!

Nobody does propaganda posters like the Soviets.

Bert. Mascot for "Duck and Cover."

The Cold War bomb shelter looks like a writer's paradise.

Bert on TV.

He's a rebel.

Whoever had the idea to honor the plutonium-powered Flux Capacitor from Back to the Future, I salute you.

Atomic Age pop culture.

The last ever winner of the Miss Atomic Bomb pageant.

Thank you for donating your ID, Edith. Now I'm totally going to Photoshop my face over yours.

Fun fact: Albuquerque has a minor league baseball team called the Isotopes. Guess where they got the name?

There are lamps and there are lamps.

Yet another diorama.

Here we attempted to create a city that is balanced in people, nature, energy, and industry. Yeah. Look at the results. On what I assure you is a completely unrelated note, we are now accepting offers to be city planners.

Outside the museum, there was an exhibit of nuclear delivery systems and defunct nuclear warheads. Above is the conning tower from a submarine.

MX missile.

Minuteman missile. Oh the times I feared seeing those flying overhead.

Bomb bay of a B-52. Rock Lobster!

Much graffiti inside the bomb bay. The most inspired piece? It comes from one especially articulate American (no doubt).

Was totally going to Slim Pickens this thing.

A B-29, just like the one that dropped the first atomic bomb.

Never knew that the F-16 was adapted to drop nukes.

Thank you, National Museum of Nuclear Science and History. Thank you for helping me to stop worrying and love the bomb.

So the adventure draws to a close. My emotions are mixed. I will be relieved to get off the road but I fear what awaits me.

Then again I always do.

I took this journey to find answers. I found a few. But there are answers that I don't want. Why must times like these be mine? Part of me could remain in the limbo that is the airport, searching for a fogdog in the existential mist, leading me towards a way out of the murk. 

Wondering which memories are real and which are vapor.

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