It's been three weeks now – maybe, you think. You don't think a lot anymore but you really do suppose you ought to. It's been three weeks now, though, that's a fact. You tried to spit into the sand to keep track with a tally chart, but it just dried up. You tried to stick little twigs into the ground to remember the days, but they blew away. It's alright, though; you started keeping the twigs in your pocket, and, as long as you're careful not to break them, you've got a pretty good idea of how long it’s been.

That was a lie.

You're lying to yourself.

You have absolutely no idea how long it's been. The twigs in your pocket just bend and snap, bend and snap, bend and snap until there's dust falling out of them. If anything, you’re more lost than you've ever been. The only thing keeping you going is... those dreams. Maybe 'mirages' is the proper way to refer to them. Huh... Right, you're not thinking, so you wouldn't know. You're just experiencing. On the horizon, you see blue bases and glistening green melding under the hot desert sun. Sometimes you think you catch a blue leaf, or a splash of green in the pool. You don't, of course, because this is all a mirage. You don't see any of it, inverted or not. That white, too. It's not really there. He's not really there. You're tricking yourself, and you need to put a stop to all of this.

It's evening, suddenly. You see him again, floating on the horizon next to the glowing blue and nuclear green. You saw his luminescent skin covered by his darker, greener robes — they were harder to see, so instead you focused on watching the flouncy hair smouldering at the edges, held tight against the black background of this cruel desert.

Yes, that was it. The sun had long left him in peace, had left him to come to terms with his time, and let him drink from the fountain of youth and lie in comfort on the desert's soft, white sands. You, on the other hand, were at its mercy. Behind you, Utu paraded slowly, taking in the applause (you had just thrown up sand, having eaten it earlier) before deciding when to depart. There was nothing here for you. Each grain was heated to a million degrees, and the air was empty.

Oh, how desperate you were to crawl over to the horizon and stand next to him. Even if your legs forbade you that small pleasure, then you could lie next to the flickering water with your fingers dipped in, and watch him walk by himself with the trees in full flourish. In this lonely mirage, you two would build your home.

Yes. Yes, that had to be it — not a dream nor a fantasy, but the future! You must crawl towards him; you must reach out to his delicate hand and hold it tight, and he would drag you closer to the water. He would save you! Just... Only... Only if you held onto hope, then he would surely come! This was it! Salvation was not at your fingertips, no, it was wrapping itself around your wrists and pulling your body to its own, cradling your frame with its long arms and taking you away from this hell, this purgatory, this treacherous land that cared not for your survival, but how much dust you could transport from one side to the other.



Yes, the desert sure is treacherous.

You reach out for his hand, and he's blown away with the rest of the sand.