100 miles out

I’m a hundred miles out from Siberia, enjoying a last supper of sorts at the Denny’s restaurant in Barstow. When I arrive at the ghost town two hours from now, I’ll leave the motorcycle with the ruins, and head out into the dark desert for a long two or three-hour night hike to the trackless Deep Water Wilderness. After crossing several miles of sloping alluvium, I’ll climb up and onto a dark, flat mesa of volcanic rhyolite, which is The Edge of Deep Water, and the place where I stayed and slept the last time I was here alone after dark; a place where my fear was assuaged with the sound and sight of distant freight trains passing through the black empty desert far below, reminding me that I wasn’t then truly alone, wasn’t yet completely disconnected from my kin and kind. This ancient fear and comfort—a curious pair and juxtaposition—which kept me company the last time at this place, is the thing I hope to push past tonight by continuing on further from the mesa, down off the dark height, into the still darker depths of true Deep Water; to walk on further, ’till the trains grow silent, and the tendrils of comfort snap and disappear for their insignificant bonds. I’ll walk on then through the night to the place where the soulless beasts live, to join their number, to walk in their example, to remember what I really was, am and must at last one day become.

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