|Friday, 5pm. 30 miles south of Blythe,CA. 94 degrees Fahrenheit.
My eleven-years-old GMC-truck
is going about ten mph on a desert track somewhere in the middle of nothing. Dry creeks, dry plants,
dry rocks. No birds, nothing that moves. Not even clouds. The track vanishing every few minutes between
black stones the shape of eggs or in scrubs armed with thorns scraping the sides of the GMC. From time
to time, the horizon's gone when I'm passing something that could be a wash - in better times. I have to be
careful by passing those dips, the clearance of the GMC not forgiving straight driving. And there we go -
I bump my rear axle in a creek - a very unpleasant sound - some stones flying to the side.
| What happened? Why are they here? And, after all, who or what
left them standing here by their own,
unable to move, dissolving of drought in a place nobody can forget because nobody ever remembered it ?
Whose desperate mind undertook all this hassle driving them all the way to this place in the desert nobody
can survive? I saw this man. He was about thirty-five, five-foot-eight tall, long hair, face small and dry, long
nose and small brown eyes hidden from the sun by eyebrows that looked burned like these brushes at the
wash. 69', as they send him home from Vietnam, he was OK. Not wounded, not ill. The people in Elgin,IL
gave him a job at a grocery store, but it was a lousy job, he switched for a liquor store, then for a garage,
but the garage was mainly working for guys in Chicago, whom he never saw, and who were mostly after
new ID numbers for their cars, that had to be stamped into the frame and behind the windshield. So he left.
There was nothing anybody expected from him and nothing he could do about it.
|So he sat and waited. Watched the desert, the ever dusty colours,
the brown mountains, the starter of the
pink bus. The fuel gauge read zero. He turned the key and no sound came up. The first sixpack was gone.
So he got out of the bus and just walked. Nobody stopped him. I looked around and got back to my GMC.
I had ways to go, anyway. Looked at the other bus and somehow it seemed to smile. It tried to tell me,
maybe there was another story.