Mirages

Mirages

 

When you’re lost in a desert they tell you not to run after mirages. It’s a waste of crucial energy, they say, and in a desert you need every last drop for survival. Well my canteen ran dry weeks ago and I’ve been getting by by hopping from mirage to mirage riding that wave of unreality, wetting my feet in puddles while sipping mixed drinks in coconut shells ever since. Every Friday I eat roast beef on a reliable enough empty dune, and down in the valley there’s lemonade on Sundays, and found a place that’s always raining if you close your eyes just right.  My body is still starving and my throat is still dry, but that’s just stuff—my way is kinder. Living in mirages it is easy to forget that there’s such things as rain and ice cream and roast beef and what it’s like to feel things on your tongue again, and real water slips through your fingers so much easier when you try to cup it in your hands and you can never get it back. Mirages are so much more forgiving, giving you have what the cracked and dry earth keeps. Mirages don’t pretend, they know they give something baser than hope, less than nourishment, something you still need but can’t dare to expect; and that’s why they disappear.

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