Just Desert

02/11/2021 2 By BuddyCushman

(A vision)

I pictured myself, earlier, wandering through a desert scene, Nevada likely, a quarter mile off the 15, talking out loud to no one there, trying, really trying, to have a dialogue with some God. Pretty much any God would do. Something wise and just, ancient, or maybe freshly brand new today, mother father kindly neighbor. The grandmother I never had. Most of my out-loud pleading confined to “Please help us”. Please, please help us.

It’s not so hot out there, today, the desert air is fresh, clean, stimulating, long-ago rises of mountains and plateaus stretch the horizon, I wonder do they actually move because I’ve got to figure they do, even if it’s waiting until 3 am when the only possible witness would be a drunk and the sadness in his or her heart tends to blot out beauty. You know? Yes, there are buzzards circling now but they don’t mind me, there’s always another way to make a living. I haven’t seen a snake and sometimes I do look down but more I look at the big landscape, ‘cause there has to be a God or two out here, I mean, ‘come on, would you look at that’.

What happens (in my vision), after a couple of hours, is I decide to write my message in the sand, I kind of dig my sneaker in and drag it along, you know the way kids and sometimes adults make marks, tell stories in the sand or on the dirt, like a treasure map or a plan or something, so I spend maybe 25 minutes dragging my foot through the warmed-up earth, it’s tannish, it’s sandy with mixes of I don’t know materials, and I spell out “please help”, all small letters and after I walk back to the Camry pulled off the shoulder of the interstate and there happens to be no cars whizzing by, toward LA, toward Vegas, and I sit there – driver’s seat, door open – and think I could have been doing a lot of things not so worthy, not like this owning my own in a good, healthy, affirming, joyful way, and I’ll turn the key in the ignition and pull a you-eee and head off west.

Chasing the day.