Armed with tongue depressors, newspapers, cardboard, twine, they built prototypes to break an egg’s fall from on high; launched homemade rockets and watched them crash, entangled in the parachutes that failed to land them safely in the field, their wax-form nose cones blunted on impact; kept vigil while their model boats were tossed upon the wave tank’s scaled-down crests and troughs; and otherwise endured physics’s lessons: how everything returns to earth, gets wrecked on the shoals of the universe. We were failed experiments ourselves, teenagers falling down drunk in wooded parks where glass shards, sloughed off condoms, charred lumber scraps had washed up from the wreckage of past evenings, talking crap about the firmament, theorizing life on other planets. Absence of proof is not proof of absence, we repeated, downing drinks and only half believing it. Now junior counsellors, we babysat the children of parents obsessed by the notion that summers spent in idleness are summers wasted. On the final day, we took them to the med school. It pissed down rain, and they got wet, a pack of sodden animals dripping puddles in the foyer, easily led into a lab where steel trays served donated organs: lungs butterflied like chicken breasts, a hand that made a fist when with a fist you tugged the tendons like a bell pull; pumps and sockets, fuses, pipes: all the pieces you might use to build a better prototype. I don’t know what we learned that day, but something in my circuits changed, became rerouted or plain burnt out by the thought of us all trudging back through heavy rain, having seen a man split open to reveal the things of which a man is made, his head and hands and feet cocooned in orange plastic bags like autumn leaves, his penis shriveled to a stump. A boy giggled at the sight of it. I scowled at him but felt like laughing too, when faced with what was facing us, and that’s the truth.