Wednesday, December 14, 2011

An english assignment:

The day shod its clothes bashfully; its soft pinks and shame-faced oranges falling in piles on the desert floor. The sun slipped carefully from his place in the sky and seemed to rest on the ground, a running distance away, before sighing and sinking under the horizon. As the sky dimmed, the moon loomed and revealed the glowing nakedness of night.

There were miles in every direction. My uncovered feet finally able to bear the heat, I eased down from the truck bed onto the earth. The reddish dirt was still aching with warmth from the daytime, and it pulled at my bare soles as I began to walk. The terrain was as inconsistent as it was uniform. There was a cactus here, a pile of earth there, nothing animate enough to stand out on the flat horizontal.

I stopped and turned, a slow semi-circle. The land seemed to rush away from me. I imagined it may be what outer space feels like, so much emptiness seeming to pull back on itself ceaselessly in its Sisyphean task of creating more space out of space. I fancied Neil Armstrong sidling onto the tired sponge of the moon. He must have turned to see the vast amounts of space, like an audience with their eager faces turned upward, pious and expectant. Perhaps he viewed space with a force like thunderous applause or with the quiet soul-straining of waking from sleep.

I lied down on my back. My father used to coax me to sleep when I had childhood bouts of insomnia. Imagine a big magic eraser. It’s erasing your body, and it can erase things completely gone. Now it’s starting at your feet, up to your legs, now your waist, stomach, chest. It’s at your neck, your face, your head. And try as I might I could still feel the weight of my body against the sheets and my head on the pillow. I still saw myself there, filling up my rumpled bed.

Under the desert’s blue-black boundless sky I simply let myself spread. I stretched with the never-ending landscape and then stretched beyond it. I was deep in all the space I now occupied, and my soul thinned. The hum of the ground was beneath me and the desert all around me. I pulled myself in, and curled up on my side.

My dad would say, Look, now your mind is gone. Now you’re completely erased and gone and you can fall sleep. And he would kiss me on the forehead and leave me with goodnight.

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