New American Western
The sun was turning brown as it began falling asleep.
The rocky surface of the desert floor remained still except for the curious movement of coyotes. I sat on my horse and watched them trot along a distant ridge as they kept their excited noses stuck to the ground. They didn’t lift their heads up for nothin’. I guess they thought if they did, they’d miss out on snatching a cold snake, or maybe a wayward jack rabbit, or maybe even sleeping cat.
I thought about why I was here. I didn’t come up with any good solutions except that I called this placed with shattered rocks, and shattered dreams home. I’ve met some interesting characters out here.
The sounds of Saturday night were starting to scare off the coyotes. Even they knew that men with Whiskey and guns were far too dangerous to be around, even if it seemed like a safe distance. The hoots and hollers, the shots from pistols and rifles, the boisterous manners of men unfit for domestication find their way out here and stay until they get too dried out, or just plain’ol get shot and left to turn into dust. We all come out here for the gold, the girls and getting’ drunk.
It’s what a man was meant to do when there ain’t no wife or kids to hold him back, but sometimes the men who have a wife and kids find their way out here and soon realize what they left behind was worth more than anything they’re gonna find out here.
We might be drunk,but we ain’t all that dumb. We try to get those guys outta here and back home where they belong. Besides, if they did find Gold, there’d be that much less for us Desert Dogs.
It ain’t like we got an education or a skill that can get us a job and keep a wife. Al we got is our desert dreams…a few bullets, and some whiskey.
When you start walking out into the desert it gives you lots of time to think. And re-think. All you do is think. The sun doesn’t let you forget what choice you made and it constantly beats down on you with its unrelenting heated stare.
All you see is the Desert’s expanse of shattered rocks, and your own shattered dreams.
You walk for hours and it seems like days, and when the cool relief of night rolls in you feel relieved, but helpless because you begin to notice the coyotes circling on a distant ridge. There’s always more of those white fanged, beady eyed killers than the bullets you carry, and they seem to know that. They always circle around and then act like they’re coming after you. If you shoot at’em, you won’t hit’em. They back off and then wait a bit. They start in again, and before you know it, your pistol is only clicking.
You’re sitting out there, in the darkness of the Desert as Coyotes are closing in on their midnight feast. It’s that clicking sound that signals to them, somehow, that you’re a sitting duck. I’ve had those moments. It ain’t good knowing that something with four legs and razors for teeth will be chewing on your bones. It makes you blood run cold. Real cold. All I can relate it too is the water that runs down from the mountains in the spring time when the ice melts.
The coyotes don’t keep you away. The heat don’t either. Nothin’ really does because you’ve got those Desert Dreams. Those dreams. Those vivid, wild, intoxicating dreams.
Some people like to think that the gold we seek doesn’t exist, and that all we’re ever gonna find is fools gold because we’re just dreamers. What everybody doesn’t know, or understand is that we ain’t got nothing else. Nothin’.
It ain’t just the sun that gets to your mind. It’s the whiskey. When you get enough of both, and in the right doses, you start having Desert Dreams, and them dreams ain’t got nothing to do with gold.
My last dream is a good example of what Whiskey and too much sun does to your head.
Now, if you want too, go ahead and sit down because this might take a little bit, so be comfortable and I’ll tell you how the dream went.
I was walking into a saloon with two pretty girls. They both was kissing me on the cheek. The music was real loud, but the moment we walked in, it got all quiet. Like a funeral was taking place.
I looked around and didn’t see a soul in sight. Not even the Barkeep. When I turned to look at the pretty blonde that was on my right side, she wasn’t there. Like someone snatched her from me and I didn’t even know it.
I could feel my arm around the other gal on my left side. I closed my eyes and took a deep breath and thought about her long, dark, curly hair and deep green eyes. I turned my head and slowly opened my eyes. I could see her dark curls. She turned her head and winked at me. I felt real warm inside when she did that. Like some young cow poke fallin’ in love for the first time. She was there, but what happened to other gal?
The music began playing again and in a blink of an eye the saloon was filled with a bunch fancy clothed men smoking fancy looking cigarettes from long black sticks. I ain’t never seen those before.
The music got quieter and the lights went out, but nobody did nothin’. Nobody raised their voice, or fired a single shot. It was quiet again, but one light came on from above where I was standing and was aimed at the stage in front of me and my gal.
A beautiful woman dressed in blue silk dress walked onto the stage. As she did the high class fellers started clapping, but they weren’t all that excited. I looked at that woman on stage. She had long Blonde hair right down to her waste, A real pretty smile and soft blue eyes. That was other girl!
I started whistlin’ and clapping my hands like I was trying to scare off a grisly. All those high class fellas started booin’ at me and some of’em told me to be quiet. I reached for my gun and aimed it at the ceiling and fired off three shots, but when my gun went off it wasn’t shootin’ bullets, and it didn’t make much of a sound other than a crinkling sound, like paper was bein’ wadded up into a ball.
I looked at my gun and it wasn’t there. What I thought was a gun was only a pack of cigarettes with two cigs sticking out the open end. The fancy pants in the audience laughed at me and then settled down and cast their eyes on stage.
There she was sittin’ on a stool, cross legged with that blue dress hiked up between her ankle and knee.
I yelled out: “That’s my girl!”
Somethin’ cold and hard hit the side of may face. It was that green eyed gal next to me. She didn’t like what I yelled out and told me: “You came in here with me, cowboy!” Well, I ain’t never rode on the back of horse with any woman, and I sure as hell wasn’t gonna start now. I slapped her back and told her: “Now listen here! I walked into this saloon with you and that other gal!.”
It was getting awfully hot because the smart alleck holding the big light swung right at me and the green eyed, face slappin’ woman I was yellin’ at.
Now we was the show. All the fancy pants fellers were waitin’ for the second act, well it was comin’.
We started bicerkin’ like we’d been married for twenty years, but she would stop with her insuatin’ that I only walked in with her, so I said: “Enough is enough! Let’s ask these peepers what they saw. Okay fellas, did I walk in here with this face slapper?!”
And I felt her cold, hard hand introduce itself to my leathered cheek. I blacked out for a second because my fist was clenched with a ready reply and I was ready knock this gal square in the jaw, but at that moment I felt a warm hand feel the side of my face that just got slapped.
I didn’t see the green eyed face slapper, but the blonde haired girl that was on stage was standing in front of me and softly rubbing my cheek. “You alright?” I nodded my head and slowly turned to see who was standing on the right side of me.
Yep it was her.
Black curly hair and green eyes. She didn’t slap me, but I covered that side of my face with my hand just in case. I looked back up at the stage and there was nothin’ there. The music started playin’ and got real loud. Those fancy lookin guys were gone.
I looked at my two girls and they put their arms around me and we walked out of there.
When we got into the street I looked at the saloon. “I don’t know what happened in there.” I said.
I rubbed my face as I looked at a pair of green eyes staring at me. “What? I didn’t do anything.”
That’s what she said, but I think she did something to me deep inside. That’s how women are.
They get inside you and change you..from the inside out.
So there you have it. A desert dream. You walk into a saloon with two gals, you lose one somehow, and then the one you’re with slaps ya’ around, and then you think about the one that got away.
Desert dreams can seem real, or real fake, but most of the time they lay there, deep inside yer brain, just waitin’ to come out. It’s usually the whiskey and sun that wakes up your mind and soul, and when both of those get to stirrin’ there ain’t no tellin’ what you’re going to learn about yourself.
The desert will change you, but not in a good way. Not like a good woman can, or does. If you’re lucky, the gold you have is the woman you’re with, but if you’re a fool and go searchin’ for the gold hidden out in the desert, you probably ain’t gonna find it.
You’ll end up having desert dreams about what real gold is.
©2016 Von Kambro
A cowboy shares one of his desert dreams and what it means to have them. When you drink too much whiskey and the sun beats down on you with its brutal honesty, you start to change from the inside, and the dreams you have begin to reflect on the internal balance of mind and soul.