There are more seats on the subway than usual today and the library is extra quiet. Everybody’s taking care not to sniffle or cough. I’m trying to finish the book I’ve been writing for years. Instead I stare at old maps of the Mojave desert, dreaming of the day I find my way back.

I replay the days the two of us spent wandering the vacant grid of California City where there are only empty sandlots and signs for streets named Oldsmobile, Cadillac, Chrysler, and the heartbreakingly optimistic 140th Street. Or the half-abandoned towns with names like Desert Shores and Bombay Beach that huddle along the edge of the accidental Salton Sea, little failed utopias with streets named Diamond Avenue and Rainbow Lane.

The Saturday night vibration of buggies racing across the dunes. The celestial pinks that spill across the desert floor like a Renaissance painting. I think I could find religion out there.

Dirty Beaches – Golden Desert Sun

From Golden Desert Sun/Night Drive | Italian Beach Babes, 2010 | Bandcamp