living in the desert

The sun beat down, searing everything in its wake, baking the desert floor, and turning the sparse vegetation into wisps of brown, dried, weeds.  They weren’t tumbling.  They were crumbling.  The heat, boiling out of the parched sand, was oppressive.  It made his head, neck, and back ache.  It was as if the extra degrees of heat were weighing down the top half of his body.  Sweat poured out of every pore, ran down his face in rivers so swift and deep he couldn’t keep the stinging water out of his eyes no matter how frequently or effectively he wiped his brow.  The exposed flesh on his arms screamed from the relentless assaulting sun.  It felt like sandpaper was being dragged down his arms any time they brushed against anything else.  His eyes throbbed and he eventually had to close them to shield them from the intense light and warmth.  Behind his eyelids he could still make out the desolate landscape and the brilliant ball of light overhead.  He felt like he was in an oven, and the sun was the light someone had turned on to check the status of the things cooking within.  Put a fork in me, he thought, I’m done.

……..

The sun beat down, searing everything in its wake, baking the desert floor, and turning the sparse vegetation into wisps of brown, dried, weeds.  They weren’t tumbling.  They were crumbling.  The heat, boiling out of the parched sand, was up-lifting.  She felt like she could rise up on the thermals and sore over the badlands.  While she was sweating, it was a good cleansing sweat, clearing out her pores from the grime and gunk of city living.  She exalted in the feeling that she was ridding herself of the years of smog, smoke, exhaust and other contaminants that had built up on her skin, and she let the sweat freely pool and drip where it would.  The ground happily drank it up.  Her exposed arms turned upwards to the sky, soaking in the sunshine, the Vitamin D, the warmth, like a loving embrace that sunk well below the surface all the way to the core of her being.  There, in the desert, she was hugging the sun and it was hugging her back.  She closed her eyes and turned her face skyward to let the unobstructed warmth flood over her face and consume her senses.  She felt like she was on fire, with every single nerve firing and her entire body tingling with the sensation.  She felt more alive than she had in years.  Okay, she thought, this will do quite nicely.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Inspired by this NPR article and another wonderful prompt provided by Queen Creative:

qualia
Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Qualia (single form, quale) is a term that refers to the individual, conscious, subjective elements of experiences. Examples of qualia are the pain of a headache, the taste of wine, or the perceived redness of an evening sky.  In other words, qualia refers to “the way things seem to us”.

More on Wiki: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qualia

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15 thoughts on “living in the desert

    • Ew, Tucson. Yep, you definitely understand. My brother lives in Phoenix now, after having grown up in a small town near death valley. He went from desert to desert. I fled to the coast – first San Diego, and now Ventura County.

  1. great contrast. i am probably more like the second one. i love to get in a car, when the windows have been up, and it’s hot, and just soak it in, i call it free heat.

    • Woohoo! Thank you. Sometimes I feel like I’m only sort of falling in line with these prompts, that I only grasp a part of the concept. I, too, was pretty happy with how this one turned out.

  2. I think you hit the prompt perfectly! I loved the contrast of the two experiences! And I’d be the first one, give me mountains, trees, and a breeze. 😉

  3. Wonderfully illustrated! After spending a year near Phoenix, I am most definitely like the first perspective.

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