Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Earth, Desert, Mountains, and the Salton Sea (Day 16)

I woke up fine in the dirt; poked a toe in some garbage. One small part of Slab City: a pile of rusty cans. Looney Toons on hot sad acid. Mutilated rubber and opaque, yellow, sun-busted plastic - brittle, breaking, and spent. It's true what I heard about the trash. Some people decide to dump it everywhere. Folks have been here for a long time, and it's not my place. To judge or understand is not mine here. In a way I'm in love, and in another I am profoundly bored. I didn't allow time for my sediment to rest.

Early in the morning, I settled into the uneasy feeling. The one I know, and I wish I didn't. I'd like to be somewhere else, but I don't think it's physical. I was watched by some fuck on a truck; distantly he stared at me for a full half hour, while, I suppose, I was the closest thing to constitute a threat: the uncommon denominator in a sea of weirdos. His dogs barked; signs claimed vacant land as his. He might have been a talented artist, a priest, or a fine human being - but something about the way his eyes followed me made me want to The Stranger his ass in the desert.

I took an unpleasant sit in a gas station bathroom, and as strong as I am, the smell of chemical litany brought me inches from my knees. Uneasy. All events served to stir my sediment.

We went south to Brawley for a cup of coffee and a reset. We planned to return to The Slabs later. We charged all devices, and enjoyed a couple hours of unfettered access to amenities. The coffee shop was much nicer than it needed to be. Friendly staff and a fancy sandwich returned me back to Earth.

I was ready to return to Slab City for matters of responsibility, but I took a wrong turn. By the time I noticed, I didn't much care. Onward and upward. There are beat down campers in a desert where nobody cares to bother them. Somewhere an elephant flaps his wings.

Above it is Joshua Tree.

I got a pinpoint-pointer on BLM land. Bureau of Land Management land can generally be camped on for at least 14 days. That's as much as I know.

Exactly as the sun dipped behind a mountain, we erected our tent. As the sun dropped, we saw I-10 far below. A tiny rope of headlights marked a line on the land. Stars lit the sky; a brilliant majesty exposed. "I own this," I thought. "And I got this dirt for cheap."

I wondered why some of the able vehicles from Slab City wouldn't rather perch on the side of this mountain. One answer occurred to me. Without a girl and a small dog, I would be lonely here. I am relieved to have this moment to share.

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