Monday, January 24, 2011


It was a lonely stretch of road he was walking. Desolate looking land that yielded little that was edible. A landscape of dried up rivers. He was too happy to finally be alone, to feel lonely. He was nowhere in particular, and yet it now seemed impossible to be lost. He had certain thoughts or questions in his head about what did matter then, and what does matter now, that seemed to send him spiraling through his history and into the future. It seemed that in the absence of almost everything, the little that remained was that much more real. Some separating of the wheat from the chaff. Some trimming of the fat. Some dumping of useless cargo. Some reckoning. Some accounting. It didn't matter whether he walked or stood still, the future was finding him, regardless.

When religions clash, God's not there. If the sky looks like it's falling, it probably is. If the ground sounds like it's calling your name, keep walking. Keep wandering through the labyrinth of thought and feeling. Look wide-eyed. Listen carefully. Feel sincerely. Don't flinch. Don't blink. Something important is finding you.

Occasionally cars would pass. He didn't bother to try to thumb them down. Each step was satisfying and self-rewarding, even though he was tired. It was a pleasant fatigue. Neither the cheap shoes against the hot pavement, nor the dust in his mouth seemed to phase him. He hadn't a clue where he was going, yet, it didn't disturb him. He had, in a flash, had this very certain feeling, that you don't have to know what's right, before you walk away from what's wrong. The truth is out there, if you walk long enough, or if you stand still long enough, if you listen long enough, if you look hard enough, it finds you. And then it moves you.

A girl pulled over in a dusty sedan. Her face was more freckled than not. Her hair a dense maze a brush would get lost in.
"You got any gas money?" were the first words out of her brownish, very chapped lips. She had an old suitcase in the back seat. A pile of books on the floorboard. Several folded maps on the seat beside her. He said he had a few bucks. They drove down the road a few miles and then pulled off. They walked slowly for over an hour down an arroyo, talking, picking up pebbles here and there. They sat along the dusty bank talking quietly and rolling little pebbles down the slope. They laid back and looked at the small white clouds drifting across a deep blue sky, giving each cloud that passed a name. They walked slowly back to the car and got in, and drove away.

The car got smaller and smaller, its trail of dust diminishing until finally the air cleared and they were gone. That was the last anyone has seen of the two of them. The desert slowly reset it's vast and empty stage as the sun disappeared behind a distant mountain.

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