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Copyright 2001 Tara K. Harper.  All rights reserved.

Tara K. Harper
June 1, 2001

Two days, 120-degree heat, and the Nevada desert...


Desert.  Too cool.  Too spiffy.  Too remarkable for words.  (Did I say "cool?"  I meant hot.  115 to 120 degrees hot--115 degrees in the shade; 105 in the coolest shade).  Gave myself a case of heat exhaustion, and it was worth every evaporated drop of sweat, every stumbling step, every loss of thought that accompanied the inexorably rising heat in my mind.  I hadn't realized that mesquite has an exquisite scent, or that creosote is as potent in the plant as it is in its commercial form.  Nor had I seen wasps and bees crawl like drunkards in desert damp soil, as opposed to the stinging drunkards that crawl on split apples and plums in the fall or waste themselves on rotting pears.  I hiked up hills of gypsum, half-blinded by tiny ridges of crystal that upthrust through the powder.  I ran my hands along the sides of arroyos that had felt only hard water before sucking the last oil from my fingers.  The lizards were like lightning, but I can't help wondering if that was because I was so slow at that point, or they were so fast.  I could have spent weeks in that heat, in those gulches, in those variegated hills.  Could have explored the powdered sun for days, but it baked my thoughts like a kiln, leaving energy for only a few dry words and little of the glaze to adorn them.

[ Someday I'll develop the film and post a photo or two.]

Copyright 2001 Tara K. Harper

All rights reserved.  It is illegal to reproduce or transmit in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, any part of this copyrighted file without permission in writing from Tara K. Harper.  Permission to download this file for personal use only is hereby granted by Tara K. Harper.

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