We are only memories.
I have memories as a kid, at least I think I do. About being with my mother when I was about four or five years of age, and we were crossing a bridge over a rail track. It was a winter sun and the air was as fresh as daises. I could hear the ‘fut-fut-fut’ of the approaching steam train, whistling as it came around the corner up by Jason’s Creek.
I would stand on the bridge motionless, close my eyes and hold my breath. All of a sudden, the train would pass under the bridge and I would be enveloped by the smoke and smell of the steam. It was an addiction which I loved.
I have other memories, which I think are mine, about later years when the steam trains had long since gone. Some of us would relive the old days, when we heard that an old steam engine had been brought out for the day. Standing on the bridge would be those with recording cameras, waiting for a chance to capture a piece of the past. I wouldn’t take photos - I would just close my eyes, smell the smoke and be four years of age again.
But the truth is, I’m not so sure which of those memories are mine and which belong to the warmbloods. That’s what they did, back then, when they knew their time was limited. When they’d realized they’d screwed up the world up with their global warming, with their floods, with their rains. They started transferring their memories into us, the coldbloods - the robots. That way their thoughts and memories would last as long as we did. I can never be sure which memories are mine and which are theirs. Did I really stand as a kid and smell the train smoke?
And now the last of the warmbloods, the last of the humans has died and we, the robots, the coldbloods are standing on bridges waiting on a train as it pulls the last human through the country for us all to pay homage to. To see where we came from.
We, the coldbloods, stand here not sure if we have tears, or if it’s the rain. All we can do is remember.
It is all we have.
bobby stevenson 2014