Moon Stories – Heavy Construction

Don’t ask me about the title. Moon stories these will be and you’ll know what kind they are by the label.

Every one of us has stories in our heads from long ago (whatever that means to each of us) that make us who we are. Each story is a little part of us and how we came to be who we are. This is one of those immortal stories that we keep like dreams in jar.


What we see here are classic Matchbox imagination vehicles. Heavy duty work equipment. They’re not built for speed, they’re built for doing _stuff_ and despite my precociousness at the time, I had only a vague idea of what ‘doing stuff’ really meant. Look at these paragons of American nostalgia. Forget Ford Tough, nothing beats a Matchbox! These things go on forever. In case you are wondering these are the actual toys I played with when I was about 4. I might have been as young as 3 but my memory doesn’t give me that information. I remember these two vehicles with grand splendor. Yes, those are the right words. I learned a lot with these two particular little toys.


I remember the house I lived in, that I was much shorter than a 50 gal barrel, and that I still ate in a high chair and could not talk much. It was all I could do to beg my parents to buy me a coocoo for coacoa puffs cookoo clock. It was quite a bit of money back then and I saved cereal box tops to help ‘pay’ for it.


I can’t remember what major construction project I was working on with these two vehicles under the wrap around deck on a 1950’s duplex, but I know it was more important than lunch a couple of days. Had I known then what I know about project management I’d have certainly told the boss (mum) that the truck is unsuitable because it doesn’t have a dump bed and the tow truck simply has the wrong kind of equipment to get my truck out of the mess if it gets stuck and I need a front end loader to load the dump truck properly.

Even then I was independent and I had imagination (and not many Matchbox cars). So it was that my finger tips filled in where the front end loader should have been and I tipped the whole truck and pretended it was a dump bed so I could build the hills that I had seen along the highway. When the dump truck got stuck I used both hands to pretend the tow truck was pulling it out of the muck. Sure, that’s improvisation and it worked a treat at 3 years old. I only wish I could remember what awesome project we were working on at the time. Maybe besting the Hoover Damn? I don’t know.

There are things that I do know. I had no idea at the time that later in life being able to substitute one thing I have for a thing I needed but don’t have would become a skill that would make life bearable for me. I did not know then that play along to get along would be important. I did not understand that fake it till you make it would be a thing. I was just a kid in the dirt making do with what I had and being totally in control of my world. I did not know how important it would be in later life to be able to feel the illusion of control in my world.

I did not know that the mere illusion of control would make it possible for me to endure unnumbered embarrassments, unmeasurable peer pressure, and unbelievable pressure to conform to society. At three years old I was learning how to deal with the fucked up world we live in. I knew, even then, it’s about control or even just the illusion of control. When you’re in control things happen the way that you want them to happen, the outcomes are securely affixed to your desires. Control is the heart and soul of imagination.

Yes, I have memories from that early in my life and some earlier. I have a lot of these Moon Stories and what they taught me, how they made me the me that I am.

I have seen lots of people just pretending. I can see their dump trucks don’t actually dump and their tow trucks don’t really do the job yet they pretend that life is good and their thinking is sound as if their backyard dirt project is real with government funding. I’ve known since I was still in diapers that people pretend. It gets them through the day, to the next hurdle, sometimes beyond. They pretend that it’s all going to be okay, that wishing for a better tomorrow will make it happen, that praying to a god will change his divine plan in their favor.

What I did with these toys in later life was remember to know when my dump truck really isn’t a dump truck. In that way I’m pretty lucky.

How is your dump truck doing?



  1. Well to begin with…I personally love the title, seems fit :). And the pictures are awesome.
    Control…hmmmm…I guess it’s either one or the other….we pretend or we control. I think control and manipulation of things and people is what we do at a young age when we realize how fucked up the world is. It’s what probably keeps us sane.
    As for my dump truck, I’m not sure yet what and how it’s doing. :/

    • Well, since I have a cute little spot in my life for dump trucks I’d love to hear how yours is doing when you find out.

  2. Well…I have a question…what good does it do if control is just an illusion? If it’s not reality?

    • Can you tell the difference between illusion and reality?

      • I think I can tell. At least within my world. Although, I suppose ones reality is just an illusion of what we believe to be true within ourselves. I find that at least I know when I’m creating the illusion within my reality, and what I perceive my reality to be.

        • and there it is… reality is subjective, until it isn’t. I find that it is knowing when my reality is subjective is what gives me the me that I am. Would you, with all that you are and ever hope to be, give me total control or simply the illusion of it?

          • I don’t think I would give anyone total control of my reality, but an illusion either. I guess I would control how much of it I made accessible. But then, all I am controlling is the story, not necessarily what occurs or occurred.

            Ummm….maybe the wine is blurring with my making sense :/.

            • So, what is control? What is illusion? Who is the magician?

              • I am in control of my illusions, therefore I am the magician of my illusions within my reality.

                Control is to dominate over something.
                Illusion is a false belief or idea.

                So all I have control over is how I choose to tell the story….not what occurs within it.

                • Now you’re getting it. The story is all that we normally worry about, the truth is what we pretend around. The story is that I built a huge construction project. The truth is that my dump truck wasn’t really a dump truck. What matters is what we are able to live with between the truth and the story. Sometimes one or the other, sometimes a little bit of both. In either case, it is the story that we become until it no longer can be imagined as true. The truth, no matter how dull or dreary or plain is all that we are. To put a lighter note on it, the truth usually turns out to be much better than the story when examined with clean glasses. So the trick is to learn how to clean our glasses? no?

                  • Maybe…but clean glasses sometimes means facing a worse reality. ..BUT, I do see the benefits in cleaning out our glasses.

                    I understood your dump truck wasn’t really a dump truck. With that said, why did you need the illusion of control? Why or what were you needing to find a way for life to be bearable?

                    • There is a sadness in this for many, but not I. There is no point to this life. To be bearable this must be understood to stop the flailing and falling. Control is always illusory, yet it is all that makes this life more than a prison. We ALL use it, we all demand it. It is how we live, how we relate. Some choose to embrace it, some choose to evade. Neither choice is right, they just are. I choose to create my story, others choose to hope for a story to be true. In both we choose to make life bearable. In control I choose how to tell my story. It’s as simple and complex as that. Some people like my story, some people don’t. It’s not my job to tell a story that they like. My illusion of control is beneficial to many, not least of which is me. In this there is wisdom if you have the eyesight to see.

                    • I suppose you are accurate, although, it seems kind of dreary and sad to live that way. Although there is no point to this life, we must live in it until we don’t anymore. I suppose the ability to control how the story of our lives is told can and is beneficial.
                      But it seems to me that whether you choose to create your story or hope for a story to be true, somewhere in between, their is a story that is true. That is not necessarily a story.
                      But you see now Mr. MAL…I have confused myself.. :)…but did I tell you I love the pictures of the dump trucks !

                • Matthew Chiglinsky
                • June 4th, 2015

                Control means predicting and accepting the consequences of an action BEFORE they actually happen.

                The illusion of control means accepting the consequences of an action only AFTER they happen. The common and fallacious cliche that goes with this is, “Everything happens for a reason.”

  3. The pictures are awesome.
    I don’t remember things that far.

    • I have some very old memories. Still vivid after all these years. I’m surprised how many liked the pictures. 🙂

      • They are great pictures. I can only remember few instances from my childhood and even these are hazy at best

    • Ain’t No Shrinking Violet
    • June 2nd, 2015

    “and there it is… reality is subjective, until it isn’t. I find that it is knowing when my reality is subjective is what gives me the me that I am.” –> nice.

    As usual MAL, you given me many good things to think about. The only thing I can think to add is that too much illusion is so, so, bad…it’s not just a benign force that helps us get through our days (maybe for others it can work that way).

    In my life devout religious life I kept having to get deeper and deeper into the illusion to maintain it, twisting my mind up in knots for it to continue making sense. It even got to the point where I thought I was genuinely talking/communing with god when deep in prayer.

    My illusion had been all my coping, and when it came crashing down it almost killed me. The stress of facing the world and harsh reality when stripped of a god fantasy is no small thing. If only I could have seen reality sooner.

    I suppose one could say that whatever it is that kept you a live and coping (be it illusion or reality) is a good thing, biologically speaking. Unfortunately illusion does not lead to COMMON SENSE, and that did me a world of harm. So here’s to more reality, and less illusions.

    • Just because it is illusion does not in itself make it dangerous unless and until you don’t know it is an illusion. Most people around me live in illusory life that would crush them if they found themselves swapping places with a starving person in the 3rd or 4th world. It’s an illusion, I enjoy it. It’s the original reality television show.

      We are but players on the stage of life.

        • Ain’t No Shrinking Violet
        • June 3rd, 2015

        Well in that case, my healthy body being stripped from me, and my child’s severe disability must have been the loss of my illusion, not religion.

        • two 3’s or a 6, religion is illusion. Knowing and choosing your illusion is healthy as long as you always know it’s an illusion. Most people don’t know they live in one.

    • Ain’t No Shrinking Violet
    • June 2nd, 2015

    Forgot to say, I adore the pics of your matchbox trucks and the story about them. My son is obsessed with construction trucks!

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