Posted by: musingsofthemund | July 24, 2008

Crisis of Desire

Current mood: apathetic

The desert was featureless. It was made up mostly of dried out earth, dotted with the remnants of a few dead shrubs here and there. Any trace of green, of life, was long gone. A former riverbed lay parched and cracked as it wound its way through this once fruitful plain. A small tumbleweed drifted slowly across the dirt, propelled by a dry, biting wind.

The tumble weed grazed his head and went about its long, endless journey.

He laid there, face down in the dirt. His breathing was shallow, but continued nontheless. He wasn’t entirely sure of how long he’d been there, or even how he’d arrived. He didn’t remember journeying from the fruitful lands to the barren plains, nor did he remember falling into the dust that now surrounded him.

He looked pretty ragged. His clothing was in tatters. A once vivid green shirt with a dinosaur on the front was now dull with wear and dust. It was ripped and torn, a mere shell of it former glory. His jeans were ripped from the bottom of the legs up to his knees. In order to keep cool during the arid days, he’d progressively extended the rips to add some ventilation, while also retaining the ability to provide some warmth in the cold nights.

His skin was a mixture of dirt and redness. He couldn’t remember the last time he’d bathed and while the dirt may have provided a smidgeon of protection, he was still burned fairly well.

He’d lost a lot of weight, practically wasting away after having gone so long without nourishment.

At his side laid a mostly empty bottle of water. He’d rationed it very carefully but still found it almost gone and there were no springs or other sources of water in sight.

The sun was setting. It was dusk. As the cloudless sky began to change colors, he pushed himself up and sat against a rock to watch it.

He’d been on the journey for a long time, yet it never seemed quite this hard before. Most of the time, even the deserts held some respite if he searched the right places. This one probably did too, but for some reason, he just didn’t have the desire to search.

He was tired. Very tired.

Grabbing a handfull of sand and watching it fall through his fingers, he sighed.

He knew the destination was worth the journey, knew it would be more rewarding than he could ever imagine. But for some reason, he was having the hardest time trying to care. He’d become quite disillusioned with the journey. It seemed like he spent most of it wandering between the desert and more lush areas. That in and of itself was not uncommon to many journeys, but his seemed to find him in the desert far more often than not. It was his own fault. It had to be. He was the one choosing the routes, so it wasn’t as though there were someone else to blame.

He could have sought out the Mapmaker. In fact, he had, many times before. Yet, somehow, he always wound up putting the maps away and foraging his own way.

His throat burned. To say he was parched would be a grave understatement. He was dying of thirst. He knew it, too. There was a man, a close associate of the Mapmaker, in fact, who seemed to be leading him on the journey. He called Himself the Wellspring. He always had a supply of water, no matter what the environment around him was like. Oddly enough, when he wandered off the Mapmaker’s path, he typically wandered away from the Wellspring as well, though he usually found him again.

He should have cared a lot more than he did. His brain told him he needed to find the Wellspring and get back on the path. He wasn’t so sure, though. He didn’t doubt it was a good idea, of course. In fact, he’d been pushing himself, forcing himself back towards where he thought the path was, but it seemed half-hearted at best. He’d been zig-zagging back and forth between going back towards the Path and continuing on his own. This probably wasn’t the longest he’d strayed, but it felt different somehow. Usually in those times, he wanted to find the Path and get back on it. Now, all he could do was meander about. He wanted it to matter to him, but for some reason, it didn’t.

He supposed it was a kind of apathy.

He felt very out of place on the journey, though, and had often wondered during this particular desert journey whether he would even be capable of making it to where he was going. He didn’t particularly relish the idea of wandering around in circles in the wilderness forever, yet that was just what it felt like he’d been doing. If that was it, then why not stop for a while, build a shelter, and take a break? Why continue on the journey? Stopping didn’t have to be a bad thing, did it?

He knew the answer deep down inside up him. He could feel the truth of the matter, but he lacked the desire to respond. So he let it lay there, deep inside, dormant.

The sun’s last rays were coming over the mountains to the west. He would need to gather some brush in order to make a small fire.

Yes, this seemed like just as fine a place as any to set up camp.

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