What's in the Desert?

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

What's in the Desert is a visual trip of what's in the desert. Explore the gas station, the biker's bar, and the empty artist.

Off of Route 66, where the sand is relentlessly orange, the air unforgiving, and the road’s cement a reminder of reality; a small bar is located there. Bikers clad in leather jackets and Americana bandanas gather there. They trade the filtered heat for the motor sound of space coolers. They trade the empty time for empty time with a thawing mug of Pabst Blue Ribbon- on ice. Back on Route 66, there’s a gas station lost in time. There are only two pumps, only one functioning gas pump, and a flickering light advertising the shop. So few people pass by that since its opening, every sale has been made by the hands of Robby. Robby, the owner and native Long Islander, found in the depths of calamity and coherence. Robby had attended NYU when beat poetry gathered the kids together. His entire dorm floor gathered their most precious belongings; guitars, cigarettes, Zippo lights, tomorrow’s flannel. Robby found himself sat in American desert, clove cigarettes rolling between his fingers and sent his parents a message. At the gas station, Robby gives out clove cigarettes for nothing at all. Fourteen miles south of Robby’s and twenty north of the Biker’s Haven, an artist has secluded herself to her travel trailer; it has not traveled since she was nineteen. She’s a sculptor attempting to sell a myriad of sculptures to the crowds that will never come. There is no forgiveness in the desert. Tomorrow cannot and will never be a promise and the arts that she crafts will never be purchased. They sit in the oblivious sun, wilting and rusting away and becoming one with the sand left untouched by time. She has predicated that within twenty years the depths of eternity will free her from her faded dreams and set them ablaze. And she will sing a lullaby to the arsonist.

When I decided to travel through the desert crying “someday,” leaving behind the new age technology and neo-futurist ideals, I found my motorcycle broken by nowhere. Its leather now a comfort rather than a burning, steaming, scorching problem or burden. More satisfying than not, I found myself gripping the walls of a gas station bathroom. A small pile of clove cigarettes by the sink with a tattered sing hung above it stating, “FREE! TAKE TOO MANY.” I revisited the memories of lifetimes before, nostalgic for bar jukeboxes and empty bottles of Pabst Blue Ribbon- on ice- and empty kisses with nonconfrontational strangers. I would have ripped the handle from the door had it not been for the light of the moon attacking me, the moonlight as oblivious to the suffering of the martyrs its touches- the same as the sun. The orange of the sand still overpowering. Parked by the side of the road was my motorcycle, now in seemingly working condition, but that was before I refused the pavement and drove into the sands that have now consumed me.

Submitted: December 02, 2014

© Copyright 2021 Jesi Rojo. All rights reserved.

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Add Your Comments:


Solarcero De Rais

I like this. Glad I stumbled across this.

Wed, December 3rd, 2014 5:27pm


Thank you so much! This meant a lot.

Wed, December 3rd, 2014 1:26pm

Jonah Ryan

This was a really great read, very enjoyable. I loved all your imagery-- reading it really felt like experiencing these things first hand... you did a really nice job on this. Keep up the good work.

Thu, December 3rd, 2015 5:41am

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