Desert Choice

Rated: G

Please note: You should read Desert Turn before reading this

I wasn't sure I was doing the right thing or not. Or even if doing anything at all was the right thing. Or not.

I've been told again and again, just don't do anything. They say if things were meant to be, then they were. Or not.

But since I pulled out of that creepy old gas station, I feel better. At least putting that thing behind me was the right thing to do. They say the sun can make you see strange things. How could that have been an illusion? I can remember the stale sweat smell of the old man when the wind shifted, blowing it across me. And there was no way I fixed the radiator! Just where did that new hose come from, then?

I shook my head, smiled and reached for the cigarettes. Damn! Six left! Make that five. Well, I'm not going back to that station! There's another down the road if I remember right, at the highway over the mountains. Just hope it's soon. Should have got gas back there.

Hahahahahaha.

I wonder if it would have worked? Be in the tank, that is. I should have. The results would have been interesting. Looking at the half tank left, I hope it's enough. The radio will only pick up that one station, still. Probably the mountains coming up, blocking the signals. And the mountains behind. And nothing but sand and cactus between.

Maybe when I get there, things will be different. I can always hope that; that things will get better. I can't make them worse. But then my past record runs though my mind, and I realize that if anyone could, I could. But I was on the way now. No turning back. Well, I could turn back, and I have enough gas I could get back to the highway and the truck stops on the other side of those mountains.

Not even any trucks on this road. Just me and the sand. The hum of the tires on the asphalt, the roar of the wind, the vibration and rumble of the engine.

And the damned sand that smacks you in the face from time to time. Keeps you awake anyway. But it's irritating. Like all those things that sent me on this road. The little things that he used to say or do. The smile and nod coming in and going out the apartment. I miss those. And when he'd brush his hand across my back as he passed me in the kitchen, or the patio. Or like long ago, every time he could.

But am I doing the right thing? They say to let things rest, but I've learned that often it's not best to ignore a fire in your house. Or a banging noise in your engine. When a problem comes up, you don't ignore it. You do what you can to settle it. Or at least prevent it from becoming something bigger or worse. Fires spread. Engine noises lead to more and worse noises.

It was never my way to listen to the most popular advice anyway. Most people are stunned, stunted sheep. They pull the covers over their heads and hide from the spreading fire, chanting, "It'll go away if I ignore it."

Sure it will.

But I've also learned that some fires are too big to mess with, and you should get away from them and let them burn. If you're lucky, they will burn out without doing too much damage.

And then, sometimes, you need to call the Fire Department; get help of some kind.

But what was this time? And was I headed in the right direction? But ever since I pulled onto to the road from that station, after thinking long and hard about which way to go like the old man wanted, I knew it wasn't the direction I wanted to go. But it was the direction I should go.

I just hope that when I get there, that things will be better.

Damn, four smokes left.

Series - Desert Choice