ONE MONTH IN THE DESERT

DAY SOMETHING

The dirt on my body has gained some form of sentience. At night it speaks to me. Tells me of the secrets of the land, of the old ways that have been lost. Asks me profound questions that I cannot answer. Profound questions like, ‘What is the point of underwear anyway?’ and ‘Why are my thighs sticky all the time?’.
 Nay, things will never be the same again.
 Am starting to feel more dirt than man. Where does the dirt end and the ‘I’ begin? Is it a sudden shift or more of a subtle gradation from flesh into dirt? Is flesh really just kind of a more spongier form of dirt? And seriously, why are my thighs so sticky all the time? I had a ‘shower’ in my tent last night using at least twenty Comfy Bot wet wipes and yet I was still awoken in the middle of the night with my thighs sticking together, the velcro sound as they peeled away from each other, pulling me out of a dream where I was having sex with Meg Ryan circa Sleepless in Seattle period and neither of us seemed to be enjoying it. 
 My dreams have been deeply symbolic and healing out here. The baggage of the mind is able to find some form of resolution in the endless space of the Outback. A back log of unconscious processing that never got a chance in the noisy, electronic smog of the city. Every night, every dream seems to help my soul find a higher level of integration, as if I’m approaching a more completed version of myself. Last night I dreamt I had a shower in the street with my old high school chums in a Russian mobile shower unit that demanded I pay for the service. I gave them the finger while I washed my penis. 
 What does it all mean? What does my dream penis symbolise in waking life? Perhaps it symbolises a cigar or a large skyscraper or a cocktail frankfurt… Who knows? 
 The answer is that one does not have to know. 
 One just has to be.
 What is this disease of doing that afflicts life in the city? It took a week for me to shift away from measuring existence as a constant series of acts, to existence on it’s own terms. Why must we constantly be doing something? Experiencing life as a verb designed to exclude you from the present moment, when all that really needs to be done is to stop, breathe and listen. Sitting naked in the spinifex, in the canned peach afternoon sun, feeling the breeze against the red dust caked sweat on my body, communing with the spirits of the land who whisper into my ears, ‘I wonder what’s going on in facebook right now?’ 
 I think about all the inane things I could be posting on facebook at that moment. The terrifying loneliness of the modern world masquerading as a constant stream of status updates about the minutae of your life that no one actually gives a shit about. After all, no one gives a shit about your life as much as you do. 
 I contemplate on posting this smug observation on my facebook page but then suddenly realise that we have no wifi reception out here and my phone battery died a week ago. I begin to have a mild panic attack. How will anyone pretend to know that I exist? What will happen to me when I no longer am able to instinctively go on facebook every five minutes just to see if anyone has acknowledged my online presence in order to feed a starving ego made hungry by the isolation of modern life and then experience mild disappointment upon discovering everyone still doesn’t give a shit?
 I yank my stinking balls and howl into the wind, my websistential pain suddenly made physical, in the form of a heroic falsetto squeal. It’s the defining moment of my generation but alas, one that is witnessed by no one save for the telepaths in the mental institutions watching the foreign film of my life unfold because they are too drugged to change the channel. Nez drukanya stouszja I wish it was in a language that I could understand.
 It does cross my mind that being so cut off out here, there is a distinct possibility that the civilised world might of ended in our absence and we will be forced to stay out here in the desert to live out the rest of our days. Perhaps we will begin a new society. My mind scans of the other people in camp, surveying possible breeding partner options and calculating how many generations it would take before our descendants would all be hopelessly inbred. Not that many if you account for those of our offspring that would perish before breeding age and those who would be super hot. But must we continue this farce otherwise known as the human species? Or would the supreme act of compassion be to end it with our line and spend the rest of our days arguing over what style of gruel we should cook with our dwindling supplies? And more importantly, without social media, where would we post pictures of this gruel?
 I don’t even know what the date or day of the week is anymore. Has it been 7 or 8 or 6 days so far? I can’t really tell anymore. Standard markings of time of yester world are no longer relevent. Time is measured in the various meals that have been cooked. Yesterday was Mexican bean dish day. It was a good day. Perhaps the best day so far. Maybe in our tribes personal history books — which will be nothing more than a few words inscribed in ash on some overcooked tortillas — it will be crowned as “Mexican Bean Dish Day™”. Perhaps we will have a commemoration parade, waving flags bearing an emblem of a single bean wearing a sombrero with a single tear (which will be actually be just a smaller bean) sliding down it’s sweaty, red-dust streaked bean cheek. 
 ‘All hail Dear Bean leader!’ We will cry as we sacrifice the non-believers to our Mega Bean Overlord.
 At night we sit in circles, underneath the spectacularly luminous Milky Way. I can actually see the outer arm of the larger cosmic superstructure which our solar system is a part of. It curves around and behind us, like the glittery, shimmering cum of God splattered across the night sky. That’s not to assume that God is a man, for those who decide to take offence to this imaginary metaphorical description. Nay, perhaps God is a woman and the stars are her cosmic lady squirt, smeared across the sky for all her lovers to examine for portents for the future. Or perhaps God is an non-binary transsexual, for anyone reading this who feels like I am not paying dues to that section of the community in this entirely metaphorical description written during these overly politically correct times. Hell, perhaps God isn’t even a human being, perhaps it is some kind of hermaphroditic hedgehog type creature with its dick shoved up its own vagina, fucking and shitting a trail of stars as it rolls at an incredible speed across the multiverse… 
 Staring heavenwards as the twinkling, sticky cosmic hedgehog space ejaculate drips onto my face, all sorts of cliched feelings of how small and insignificant we really are swarm my brain like tiny little crying beans raining from the heavens on Mexican Bean dish day. Okay, okay i get it, enough about Mexican Bean dish day already I hear you whisper into my jalapeno salsa. But one can’t help but feel like we are doing exactly what the indigenous mob and their ancestors used to for so many millennia previously. Walking, eating, sharing our stories, with only the land, the fire and the star as our witnesses. Exactly like how the ancestors used to do it. With cars, cameras, a support truck and mad cans of Mexican beans, just like they had thousands of years ago. 
 By day we walk down red dirt paths, the intense desert sun wiping our brains clean. We walk across endless, uninhabited vistas stretching from horizon to horizon, sporadically dotted with mulga and spinifex, tracing the countryside the ancestors used to live on and live off, the same territories that the mining companies now want to turn into uranium mines. Uranium mines that will drain the underground water basins and create an incredible amount of nuclear waste that will shit up the world even further than it already is. Uranium mines that will perhaps even help build nuclear weapons that will kill us all one day. I think about where our species is heading and what possesses us to behave in such a short-sighted, self-destructive way. I think about what the hell I- as a lone individual- is supposed to do to try and help mitigate the approaching crisis that most people are too busy coddled in their netflix deathcamps to notice. 
 But most of all, I think about them sweet ass Mexican beans. Those juicy, tasty beans, cooked in a perfectly spiced tomato sauce, wrapped in tortillas served with a pineapple, jalapeno and cabbage salsa and a side of Spanish rice. Mmm-mmm-mmm. 
 If only our souls were as pure as our Dear Leader Mega Bean, perhaps then, and only then, would the world be a little less shitty and we the Bean people of Bean nation would have the courage to make the non-believers pay for their insolence and torture them all the death for believing in something that wasn’t exactly the same as what we believed in.
 ALL HAIL MEGA BEAN.
 DEATH TO THE NON-BELIEVERS.

Show your support

Clapping shows how much you appreciated Nick Sun’s story.