Monsters and Dust

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coyote

 

October 24, 1843.


Last night I could find no rest. I am far from the road now, but several times during the nocturnal hours when my eyes were wide and no sound broke the stillness except the blowing of wind, I imagined I heard the sound of wagons in the distance like the uncanny creaking of a ghostly ship. The cries of the men punctuated by the cracking of their whips, the clatter of hoofs and wagon wheels. Several times peering into the gray night, despite the sky being lit by a full moon, and more stars than I have ever seen, I saw moving silhouettes. Animals, riders, whole caravans that flew from my eye when I tried to view them dead-on.

When the dawn broke, and the crying of the coyotes ceased, I was relieved and exhausted both. I built a shelter against the sun with my blanket and some straight branches from a desert plant which has no name I know of. During the day, as much of the night, I vacillated between sleep and waking, trying to rest my weary mind. The sun is large and vibrates without ceasing