You’re not really sure where you are when you alight the truck and watch it disappear into the great flat nowhere. But as you walk alongside the highway, waving at every rare blur of a vehicle doing 88 mph until resorting to the trusted thumb-thrust, you think about the old-time settlers – not of America, but of Australia – and how they all wanted to be the first ones to find the very center…the very center of a great big nothing.
You walk the whole rest of the day and at some point in the night you pathetically makeshift your wallet into an ear pillow and fall asleep on the shore of a brown grass ocean.
The next day the heat turns up. The heat mirages, some of them telecasting images of cars probably 60 miles on some other highway to the south, threaten your imagination with clichés. You fight it until one of the mirage transforms into a blazing fire, as if the visible heat waves were gasoline fumes that took flame.
“Since mirages usually dupe people with an oasis that’s really sand,” you reason, “then this fire mirage must really be ice cold water!” Contrary to your logic, however solid it might seem to you, the fire is actually quite hot, searing in fact and you begin to cry, “Is this what Hell is like?! Is Lost Dakota Hell?!!”
Thankfully, everything goes to black within a matter of seconds.
Go to page 157.
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