Perhaps this is the first time we’ve spoken like this, but probably not. Sit down with me, here on the sand, that’s right. Look around: do you like this desert I have created?
There are sand dunes all around us and that peculiar shade of twilight that hovers above the desert.
Would you like some tea?
I look up at the sky, perplexed, for although I can see the colour of it (and it is something more than seeing, I would even go so far as to say that I can feel this particular shade of blue) I do not know how to convey it to you in words. My sky, your sky, they are the same but different.
Do you like this desert you have created?
This type of conversation suits me, I must admit. I get to speak and you get to listen. I mean, you could get up and walk away I suppose, out across those dunes, but I doubt you would get very far. I doubt you would find anything. In fact, in time, I have a feeling you would find yourself back here, with me.
Firelight flickers between us, casting us in shades of bronze. Above, there are pale stars in that twilight sky.
Sip your tea now, there you go. Is it too strong? Too sweet? Is it not tea at all? It’s an idea at least, the idea of tea, the idea of a desert, the idea of a twilight sky.
See what I have built here? See all these sloping dunes? It is nothing. It is only sand and sky. Oh and there is you and I, of course. A campfire. A tin pot and two cups for the tea.
But there is nothing else; we are alone here. In fact, you are alone here, for what am I except some disembodied voice in your mind and perhaps not even that.
Grand ideas stood here once. Cities and civilisations arose out of the sand. Bedouins trekked across these dunes without ever getting lost. But all that is gone now, I have destroyed it. Or time destroyed it, I forget which.
There is so much buried beneath the sand.
Why did we bury it, why did I? The desert is beautiful, no doubt. But it is empty.
Now the desert waits.
Twilight fades and the sky begins to fill with stars and I offer you more tea. And the dunes turn to silver as the cold face of the moon peers above the horizon. Hello moon.
This post was originally published as “08112021“.