On A Desert Highway…

It is dark outside, and cold. Cloudy. Winter. But I am remembering the warm summer sky to fall into. Endless blue, it seems, until gravity sucks me back. . . .

And I’m driving now, I remember, on a lonely desert highway somewhere in the Rockies. 100 degrees plus in July and the heat vent fully open…drawing from the engine so it doesn’t overheat because something…is broken. Spray bottle to keep myself cooled down as the windows let the hot, dry air blow over me. I stop at some small town settled into the rocks here. At a small café I sit with the locals, and listen. Men too long in the sun, skin so red and tough like leather. Most of the teeth gone. Tables and tables of them, eating their mid-afternoon meals, like me, because it is too hot to do anything else. They talk of the weather, they talk of drought, they talk of the food specials of the day, and one man tells of his wife’s inability to do laundry without staining it. This causes much laughter among us…us, now…solidarity in our temporary escape of the desert sun. Men that are ageless because of their time in the sun – looking eighty, but could be forty. Men that are raceless because of their time in the sun – maybe once Euro-Caucasian, but now each of them as red as the native to this land. Men that belong here, somehow, in the crevices of these rocks…making their living out of…out of what? Out here in nowhere land, the place in the sun where cowboys ran, mining was once the trade. Is it still? Are these rocks full of gold for these café patrons? But I do not ask them questions. I spend several hours there…just listening. Smiling, agreeing, and listening.

Back on the highway, back in the sun, and it is here in the strange afterglow of these men that I am suddenly contemplating direction, and time, and the space that a life takes place in. I reach for the camera in the seat beside me, suddenly inspired to try for a picture of what is in front of me, and what is behind me, at the same time (through use of the rear-view mirror). Click and I am satiated. Soothed by the motion. Contented to be everywhere at one time, by being anywhere at any time. Contained by nothing but motion. Soothed by a rhythm of constant change. Now here, now here, now…here.


I have the shittiest narrative voice on the planet, but something prompted me to read this anyway. So – here.

On A Desert Highway


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