Thursday, August 10, 2006


The evening is quiet. There are no wanderings tonight. Only games with the child. Feeding babies with bottles. Feeding monkeys "mushy-mush." Camping with frogs, turtles, chickens.

I dream of Yucca Mountain National Nuclear Repository. The desert is aflame.

The Woman labors and grunts. The Dream of 1862 is reborn in this wasteland: an iron leviathan, rather than The Child, snakes forth, hauling its poisonous cargo toward the waiting maw of the mountain's tunnel. Leviathan rumbles through Caliente Canyon and Murphy Gap, ever closer to the North Portal. It trundles on rails anchored in boulders prematurely crushed and ground into gravel, clacking along over creosote-soaked timbers.

I hear the ghosts of timber barons singing, chanting. The ghoulish inside traders and venture capitalists of yesterday's tomorrow harmonize. I hear the moans of Nevada as she suffers at court, the judiciary in collusion with the priests of legislature and the executive. We never talk anymore, these places and times erased from our lives. The birds disappear, go silent. We do not notice when their singing ends.

These names are scrawled on City in the desert: Union Pacific Railroad, Central Pacific Railroad, Southern Pacific Railroad, Northern Pacific Railway, Great Northern Railroad. They are the words that make leviathan's entry possible. From Sacramento, Seattle, Topeka, St. Paul, Omaha, New Orleans, Chicago, New York it comes: the food to feed this five-headed hydra, this monstrosity of iron and wood and coal. The food to propel it deep into the heart of the earth.

The earth cries out. I can hear it speaking to me in the middle of the night. Unlike us, it speaks sweetly, succinctly. I listen attentively. I nod off. I awake again. This is fever I tell myself. You do not stir.

The desert is aflame and I am small. I do nothing because it feels right, comfortable. I speak to no one. I know nothing.

I am quiet, compelled to keep to myself.

The Woman cries out from the edge of City. I hear her panting. A monster is being born.

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