I hadn’t moved or talked to anyone in days. The most I could do was go to the kitchen to eat whatever was in the fridge, which at that point was an empty gallon of almond milk and two sweet potatoes. It was a Saturday morning. I knew I had to try and leave the house, but I was having trouble getting out from under my sheets. Innocently, I kept thinking about sitting on a cliff, falling off the edge, the wind in my hair.
Just a month ago, I was en route to New York for an exhibition my photography would be a part of. Coming from Farmington, New Mexico, I couldn’t believe I would show art in perhaps the biggest city I would ever visit. I still couldn’t believe it as I danced that night in a basement bar while Robyn played. In the light from a single disco ball, I smiled. It was a moment worth remembering. I was thinking about this moment when I woke up, and it felt so far away.
I went to a coffee shop in an attempt to shake this state. I tried to make eye contact with someone, anyone. When I finished my coffee, I got to my car, put the keys in the ignition, and sat there. I could count the items in my car on one hand. Water in an off-brand Nalgene bottle, my backpack, my camera, half a bottle of hot wine, gum wrappers. I turned out of the parking lot and took the first entrance onto the interstate. I started driving south. I wanted to see the dunes in California at sunrise.
Before I knew it, hours had passed, and the sun was starting to set beyond the mountains to the west. I concentrated on the sounds of driving. The catharsis of a road trip had run dry. I was still nowhere near where I wanted to be, so I kept driving. I focused on the lines of the road blurring together. When I pulled over at a rest stop south of Phoenix, it was 105 degrees out at twilight. I could actually feel the sweat droplets coming out of my body. I wondered what would happen at the tipping point, whether any of this was a good idea.
Three more hours and two pee brakes later, I was in the imperial dunes just north of the Mexican border, and it was nearing midnight. It was nearing midnight, and it was