"A desert is a place without expectation." – Nadine Gordimer
The snow is piling up outside, a somewhat rarity for Seattle, and I am dreaming of the desert. I've been literally dreaming of it for as long as I can remember. My most vivid dream involved burning red canyons, dust gathering under my fingernails, and monolithic gods that moved the stars with their rock and roll music.
I have a fantasy wherein I move to Taos, New Mexico. I live in a small adobe house where the walls are cold to the touch. I decorate my house with cacti, feathers, leather, and bones. I spend my days in a white men's button-up shirt, smoking from a pipe, and writing on a typewriter. The sand slides under my heels when I take walks in the evening. The sky is big, and sometimes I fear it will swallow me and my little house.
The desert also makes me think of road trips. Riding in the car, windows rolled down, skin sticking to the leather seats. Dave, Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich raring and roaring on the radio. Trail mix and giant canteens of water litter the floor. My bare feet are on the dashboard, tapping in time to the music. The driver and I ask each other questions out of the "If..." book. The landscape seems to never, ever change.
I am also fascinated by the night sky. Sweeping swaths of poison pink and purple color the sunset and the cacti silhouettes look like frozen dancing figures. It looks like I can reach out and pluck a star for my own keeping. The heat from the day still rises from the earth, and I catch it in my palms and cup it to my cold face.
Some day I will make it to the desert.