Journalism

There Are Worse Places to Die

Aaron

Sucks to be stuck in the desert, out in the sand dunes. Sucks that you don’t even have any drugs. You haven’t had any narcotics in, like, a while.

Reflect on how you got here. A car. You hitchhiked. That’s right, you’re here on purpose. It’s hard to remember, because walking for four days in the sun will do that. To you. In the desert, the sand dunes.

It’s hot.

Probably hotter than you thought it would be. Heavy too. Maybe the second backpack was unnecessary? The carnival Santa doll. That was necessary. You would die for him. You said so yourself.

Aaron. Don’t forget who you are. Jesus won’t, God won’t. Man, it’s good to be saved. Pretty sweet to be saved. Been saved for a long time now. Like a month. August. August 2, or 3. In Texas, visiting your baby mama. She thinks you’ll die out here, hitchhiking across America. She’s worried, understandably so. She misses the money you made in the trap house.

The trap house.

You’re out of water. Well, now you are. It’s so frustrating not to get picked up. None of these bastards will pick you up. Not for four days. In the desert! The last car kept coming, kept coming, not stopping, and you threw your water bottle at its approaching grill out of frustration. Not at the windshield, you didn’t want them to crash. Just get your frustration out. Ugh!

Yeah!

Whoo!

Maybe, though. Maybe you shouldn’t have thrown your remaining water at the car’s approaching grill. Now you’re out of water. It’s such a big desert, though. Who are you to say what was the right or wrong decision?

The idea, you know, was to get to the hurricanes. To get from Quincy, California to Tampa, Florida in time for the hurricanes. Wouldn’t that be awesome, you said, to show up somewhere and then BAM! a hurricane? Just hit the ground running. Start cleaning up. Work everywhere! The other day you carried a glow lamp around Denver on acid, and a stranger asked what’s going on, and you replied well, you were going to work with him. And you followed him, blazed out with your glow lamp in your hand, and somehow they let you work for a couple days. Probably you can’t do that forever. You need a hurricane.

The desert is so bad, so you take a break. Set down a backpack, open it up. Some nice rocks inside. Full up, all rocks. Beautiful ones. All the fire agate on the ground is just hard to pass up. Who could blame you? Could use some water, though. Just no relief around here from the sun and the elevation. But God will work it out, somehow. There are no obstacles out there if you believe. That’s why it’s awesome to be saved. Put the backpack back on. Walsenburg is only 30 miles away.

Reflect on how you got here. Chuckle to yourself. You were a driver from May 25 to July 8, for a drug dealer. You drove drugs around Denver, and in exchange all your meth and your rent was free in the house on the hill. Lot of drugs. Probably too many.

Forget it, you said eventually, you’re out of here.

Hand pulls a pistol halfway out. Oh, you’re not going anywhere. Not without someone going with you, you’re not. So that’s why it’s called a trap house, you guess.

Haha.

July 8, Night: You slip out in darkness. Dealer’s car — you won’t say his name — has yours boxed in. You break in, slip it into neutral. The car slowly rolls, slowly, backward, slowly, then faster, then down the driveway, across the road and slams into the ditch. By the time the boys know what hit ‘em you’re cruising down 70 halfway to Utah.

Hah!

You ran out of gas in Green River. No money. Your life was in that car, and it was a nice one — a 2010. Well, it was supposed to be repoed anyway. Might as well get repoed 350 miles from home. Took a bus to California. Started hitching. Got saved in Texas. Some rides are great. Some rides, you can’t trust their vibrations that they emit. Those drivers had a bad intention somewhere in their bloodline. So you have them drop you right there in the middle of the road. Seriously, right here? Yes dude! Right here!

In the desert. In the dunes.

The second backpack is almost as heavy as the backpack of rocks. You picked this one up on the way. Somewhere. You need it, though. Might be able to trade the fuzzy dice somewhere along the way. Or the toy shark. It would be good if you had pants.

Walsenburg, Co.

Walsenburg, Co.

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