12/13/2013

A Blast From the Past: Two

dry lake bed playa drawing
looks familiar

Part of a series of posts that go through some old writings about deserts and subjects that might appeal to burners.
I had hopefully purchased my ticket ages ago. And here cowered I, holed up—pillaged, dishonored, worthless in even this community: a young fellow in jaunty frontier costume, new and brave, but really reduced to sackcloth and ashes; a young fellow only a husk, as false in appearance as the Big Tent itself and many another of those canvas shells.

The street noises—shouts, shots, music, songs, laughter, rattle of dice, whirr of wheel and clink of glasses—assailed me discordant. The scores of tents and shacks stretching on irregularly had become pocked with dark spots, where lights had been extinguished, but the street remained ablaze and the desert without winked at the stars.

When once or twice I wakened from restless dreaming the glow and the noise of the street seemed scarcely abated, as if down there sleep was despised. But when I finally aroused, and turned, gathering wits again, full daylight had paled everything else. Even the bar was vacant.
sources: image Daniel Jenks 1827-1869, text Desert Dust by Edwin Sabin 1870-1952