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Notes from Death Valley


The following is the kind of prose that results after driving around Death Valley (pictured above), and then having a few too many drinks in Las Vegas:

I woke up this morning, and there was nothing left. Like desert. I was no longer me. I was an empty landscape. Things had to be moved around, boulders and brush and such, to make a something. But the something was inchoate, like a mound of clay waiting to be formed. There was no real shape, just potential shape. All the things: the earth-smelling waters, waters that tasted of mineral and metal, had not yet coalesced to form veins; the muck had not yet become sinew and flesh. The ‘I’ was gone, and the lack of substance and texture was filled with hopeful dread, and fatherless expectation and disappointment and sun-soaked emptiness, like the desert itself- spaces rimmed with low mountains- hills, really. Hills not big enough to stop potential and expansion, but high enough to block the view.

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