Her legs stretched for eternity. Her hair stretched further, and the color was a dark void where I lost any semblance of will power. She had the facial features of a Mediterranean goddess. I would have waged a second Trojan War for her. Her pale skin, plump cheeks of youth and dark Eastern European features set my prefrontal cortex aflame with an irrepressible lust, a yearning to hold her delicate frame nearer to me than physically possible. She was completely unaware of her divine properties, which rendered me a slave for eternity to her every whim.
But I lost my faith years ago. I lost my divine standing alone in another desert a world away. I lost my faith at the banks of where the Euphrates and Tigris rivers merged; where millennia ago civilization, religion and the history of man sprung forth on the stone tablets of the Sumerians. However, the divine is fleeting. The divine is ephemeral. When I arrived home after my year in purgatory I found that the only thing that hadn’t changed was the desert landscape. The city sprawled a little further outward, and the dim glow from Phoenix lights shown a bit brighter, but you could still wander far enough away to enter an unblemished landscape. The vastness of the Sonoran Desert often left me wondering if another human, any human, had ever laid a foot on the very soil I was passing through now. It all seems so uniformly dull when you stand in the desert and peer into the distant, beige void.
However, that’s what’s so unique about this empty landscape. It isn’t empty. It’s filled with harsh life adapted to overcome the insurmountable heat and lack of water. If you stare hard enough you begin to pick up movement here and there, and then, you begin to contemplate how incredibly maladaptive the human form is for a terrain like this. How did anyone survive a Phoenician summer before the advent of A/C? Yet, the fingerprint of humankind has been evident here for more than a millennium.