Where better to witness the human straw?
“If you were me, and you were on foot, where you would you go,” I asked.
“I’ve never walked anywhere,” she said. Diet soda within reach.
Looking at the map I feel fear in the dead center of my heart. Chest pounding. Sweaty lip. Head down, don’t see too much, don’t say too much. Man and water. Man and desert and water. There can be only one.
Bullhead City, Laughlin and the beast itself; Vegas. Epic sprawl. Manly sprawl. Mindless sprawl with an insatiable thirst. Where the fringe meets the fluid is my happy place. This place is like any border really. The best and the worst of what humanity has to offer. Sex trafficking and all-you-can-eat seafood. The order is no matter because the answer is always “of course.”
This border is the place you look for opportunities, jobs, and a better life for your family. Gunfire for breakfast to bad to middle class to uptown to high roller all in one decision. The American Dream. Banners, fences, and warnings. Restricted, Keep Out. Boulder City to Henderson to The Strip to the MGM to the slots to the High Roller table. ONE-DECISION. And it works in both directions. The masses move in and the water moves away, forever.
At the heart of this mess is a river, a river of no return. Once it’s gone it’s gone but the six-beer-an-hour crowd mixes their fuel and fire and grit and sand and wants to get radical and the river always says yes. High wind, low morale but the troops continue to fight the good fight.
The interface of the future is here, now. High tech, low I.Q. Sucking at the straw of life. From the river, from you, from each other. No matter. Welcome to the suck. Before it’s too late? Nah, we passed that point a decade ago. Now it’s about the denial party.
Now we shake hands with our fingers crossed behind our back. I go back on you and you return the favor. The peculiarity of our species is why I search, why I hunt. Waiting and watching for those moments I’ll never see again. I’ve only just begun.
Wow, extremely interesting! That is all I can say… other than to say that I am sure to think (and re-think) about these words a few times.
Just putting it out there. Glad you like it.
This is apocalyptic, and like you I fear it’s our reality. I love the imagery, both written and visual. Good timing, good inspiration – I’m back on the road soon heading through similar country. Have read a couple of frightening articles recently. One about the militia crowd in those parts. Golden Valley maybe? Another about more short-sighted greed in the Arizona government, letting groups tap into underground aquifers (reservoirs? not sure of the difference) and take all the water.
Corruption and misinformation are rampant in the US. Everyone working angles. I’d love to interview a militia leader to get a better understanding of their views. Heck, would love to run it in AG23. There are militias all over the place now.
I would, too. I’m sympathetic to the people who argue that some of the attention risks normalizing some of these things, but in the end my instincts reject that. It’s better to get these things out into the light rather than pretend they don’t exist. People are able to read things, process information, and gain a better understanding without somehow suddenly saying, ahh you know, that makes sense. That’s my gut speaking, though. I could be wrong. I’ve been wrong about oh so many things after all.
Education, discussion, rational thought, fact based void of emotion. Will it happen? Not in this climate. Not even close. The entire “post truth” event that is happening now is truly terrifying. And to see people who under normal circumstances might be solid, smart people, get behind a fabricated narrative is troubling to say the least. I’m wondering what happens with Wuhan Virus here when CDC seems to be adrift. This could get serious and in a hurry.