When I am bored, I open Windows Explorer and look at my documents file. There, in alphabetical order, is EVERYTHING, I have written and stored on the computer. My gawd, how I ramble on, chattering to my computer and myself, Sometimes late at night.
In 2002 I spent six months in Hesperia, California, in the Mohave desert with my cousin, Bertha. She calls her home Desertina. One night, I got up and wrote this.
It got up to 100 today. I think it did. Mostly I stayed inside. I like to get out and roll around the garden as much as possible. I like to pick tomatoes off the vine and eat 'em right there. There are little cherry tomatoes that taste so good warm. You pop 'em in your mouth and each one makes only one bite. And there are big ones, called Early Girls, that dribble down your front when you eat 'em like apples.
And there are apples. I am a city boy. All I knew about apples is that they come from the supermarket. But here they grow on a tree. You pluck 'em right off the tree and bite into them, and there they are, real live apples. They are green and tart.
And some apples are orange and tart and tiny. They are crab apples. I never ate crab apples as a kid. Grandfather did, and now I know why. You pick 'em off the tree or pick 'em up off the ground. The ground is covered with real eatable, tiny, crab apples.... lying on the ground. The ground is covered with food.
Last month there were apricots. Next month there will be grapes. The yard is filled with food, free food.
Well, far from free. Growing things in the desert takes water, precious water. $125 worth last month.
But it was too hot to be outside very much today. But when the sun goes down, it gets cool, and a breeze comes up. And it grows quiet, and then there is free, really free, food for the soul.
It is one am now. I sit by an open window and listen to the quietness. A car goes by on Cottonwood Avenue and i can hear it as it drives on by, and on, and on... for a mile or more I can hear it. It is so quiet I can hear dogs barking half a mile away. More than one... bass barks and little yips. What are they barking at? Lizards perhaps, or ground squirrels, or cats. The moon, maybe. It is full and bright and right overhead. I saw it rising as I went to bed, and now it keeps me company from straight up.
Except for the moon, it is dark in the desert. It is quiet, and dark, and food lies on the ground and grows on vines. It is hot in the daytime and cool at night.
No wonder Bertha calls it home.
Friday, July 26, 2002