Desert Love Gone Dry

I am on an expedition in these dry cliffs and slopes that seem to blockade a desert. I am in the passenger's side of some hideous four-wheel, bus-shaped, rugged terrain vehicle. As I turn to the driver, I realize that I cannot see who is driving and whoever he is, I do not know him. About thirty feet in the distance, a white middle-aged couple drives another range rover up a brittle dirt hill. Suddenly stopping, the couple exits the vehicle and starts gleefully jumping up and down on the dried-out crust which, unable to take the abuse of the happy twosome, slowly crackles open. As though it were a drawbridge made from earth, this flat hunk of land descends beneath itself into a hollow cavern. Looking ecstatic with their find, the couple leaves their suburban car and enters the strange underground opening. I follow suit and as I look back, my driver and the car disappear instantly.

From the upper ground to the floor of the cavern, there is a six to seven-foot drop, so I jump and land on a concrete floor covered in sand. My ankles seem to scream out electric bolts and my knees buckle while I drop to the ground. As I look up, I see a palm tree in a terra cotta pot. A white door with a fuzzy textured window stands watching me, slightly ajar. So, in I go, in this strange underground portal, to find a cross between a desert resort and a community recreational center. All of the flat walls are eggshell white and there are potted ferns and cacti strewn about the front room. A dark-haired woman in white pleated shorts and a pine green polo shirt whooshes by me with no regard for my uninvited arrival. I see white, pristine sinks with chrome faucets and handles, empty white counter tops below sterile white cabinets, and couples breezing by in their underground bliss. I cannot figure out what is going on in this place. I see no fitness equipment, no swimming pool, no game rooms, no obvious employees, none of the usual recreational elements. I feel as though I am in some bizarre sex camp.

I walk into a very large convenience store with high metal shelves and an outrageously large overstock of miniature cereal boxes. Constantly in this bizarre underworld, I feel as though I am searching for someone, and to no avail, I find that no one, no human being interested in, or even aware of, my presence down here. I, however, do not take it upon myself to start a conversation with any of the passers by. I still feel invisible though. I realize that I am still in the desert and I continue to wander until the landscape becomes two-dimensional.

Suddenly my attention is drawn to an omnipresent film being screened. A black screen on which letters made of flickering flames appears. The letters read, "World of the Bizarre: Number 2." Horrifically bad thrash metal blares as the screen presents videos of putrefied, rotten human organs: a liver encrusted in dry blood, a heart still bleeding, stomachs, etc. Behind each one is a low-budget background of scorching flames that are unable to burn the foul organs. I suppose it is a lame rocker's vision of the fruitless saga of the human condition.

I fall back into a nineteenth century Victorian home. It is made of brick and dark walnut paneling. Rain falls from the sky as I ascend the brick steps to enter the house. Dark, regal, cold and rich: these are the words to describe the inner sanctuary I find here. My hair wet and skin chilled, I realize I am about to be married today. As my wedding dress floats out of an empty closet, I undress my goose bump-covered body and fit myself into the white gown. In the backyard stand my guests and my groom. We all have wet hair. The ceremony begins in a blur and I see my soon to be spouse shaking his wet head. "I do not think we can get married," he announces to the crowd after I have said, "I do." "Look at us, our hair is wet, we look like ridiculous stray dogs. It cannot happen," he says to everyone but me. He leaves the yard and I stand alone with some white flowers curling up from their blooms due to the rain. People look at me and shake their heads. I stand soaked to the bone and remember how good it felt to be in the dark walnut sanctuary.

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