On The Edge In Nevada



The Sun
Began its onslaught
The moment
It peeked over the horizon.

The Sun,
A menace,
Burns brighter, hotter,
More intense,
On the edge
Of the desert.

The Sun
Constantly peers directly
Into the center of your eyes
Trying its damnedest
To destroy the macula;
No matter where you gaze,
No matter where you go,
No matter where you turn,
No matter where you travel,

The Sun
Is omnipresent
In the sky
Over Nevada.

After Dawn,
They stopped over the border
At the first available rest area.
It provided gas, snacks,
A coin operated car wash,
And most importantly,
What you assumed would be,
A better bathroom
Than the hole in the ground at the campsite.

She had been hell-bent on washing
The car for the last thousand miles or so.
The windshield was strewn with many a carcass;
A multitude of insects had met their demise,
Thanks to high-speed impact—

Wrong place, wrong time…

At this juncture,
You did not think it was necessary
To wash
The car;
It was obvious that it would quickly be covered in dust.
After all,
A drive through the desert was immediately pending.
Regardless, you did not care either way.
Not really.
Confident it would please her,
You placed one coin after another
Into the available slot.

(Nevada is a state lousy with slots.)

You started to become uncomfortable.
The last coin was troublesome.
When it finally took,
You ran off to move your bowels,
Hoping to hover, over
A more civilized delivery system.
(We Westerner’s have been softened
By the Age Of Modern Plumbing.)

The bathroom was very small.
It reminded you of a prison cell.

There was one urinal,
One sink,
One stall.

You pressed your hand against
The door to the commode.
It was already occupied.

The pain began to build,

The urge, to Go, stirs
Upon awakening.

It has been that way
For most of your life.

This particular morning
Had been no different.
The distinct difference, in this case,
Being the lack of clean, and immediate

(Having been confined to the car
For many hours that followed,
Vastly increased the need
To evacuate.)

Forced to wait,
Critical mass of the lower intestine
Felt imminent!

You waited.
And Waited.
You grew impatient…

In order to
Distract yourself
From the crowning achievement
Taking place in your rectum,
You lingered over the sink
And washed
Your hands,
For a while.

What seemed an eternity
Before a boy burst forth from the enclosure.
He was a young Latino lad,
Not more than nine years old.

Standing off to the side,
You observed the boy’s behavior.

Like a gust of wind,
He had blown
Past you,
Spat in the sink,
And wiped
His mouth.

As quickly as he had exited the stall,
He shot out of the bathroom.
The door slammed behind him
With a jarring thud.

Pausing to ponder a moment
The boy’s strange behavior,
You thought to yourself,
“That’s gross.
That kid didn’t even
His hands.”

The pain had reached epic proportion,
You were hesitant about following,
The performance
Of another human being.
It occurred to you that the odor
Had not been overly pungent.

You decided
It was safe
To use the toilet.

As you reached for the door to the stall,
It swung open.
You were taken a-back, shocked!

A Latino man,
Aged fifty or more,
Came stumbling out and brushed past you.

Though inquisitive,
You watched the man walk away.

Turning back as he opened the door,
A smirk crossed his lips.

He left,
Gently guiding the door shut
Without A sound;

Dude knew the bathroom, the quirks of the place.

To wrap your mind
Around the unfathomable implication,
You quickly formed an explanation.

Naively seeking the most innocent of reasons,
You figured that he was guilty,
Of bad parenting:

After all,
The man had exhibited
The absence of personal hygiene;
As well,
To wash his hands.

You thought to yourself:
“Like father, like son.”

Your heart sank.
Your brain went numb.
Your body involuntarily shook with rage.

There were too many holes
In your allegory fabricated.
The reality was too horrific to acknowledge.

It did not make sense.

Too many questions arose:

“Why were they both in there?”

“He is old enough to go in there by himself.”

“Why did the boy run out so quickly?”

“Why didn’t they leave together?”

Instead of proceeding to the stall,
Compulsively papering the public seat,
And relieving yourself, you stood there,
Somewhat paralyzed.

You replayed the scene
Until it fully

Very disturbing
Turn of events.

You realized


The bathroom had not
Stunk of shit.

It became clear


The boy had spat
In the sink.

Your own urgent need disappeared


You broke out of your trance,
Compelled to rush out after them.
It became of dire importance
That you confirm or deny
Your worst fear.

The door slammed behind you
With a jarring thud.

A flash of the youngster wiping
His mouth;

The urge to vomit;

Muscles go taught;

Painful anger fills mind and body:

You understand…

It had become obvious.

You hoped you were wrong.

Quickly scanning the aisles,
You tried desperately to spot either one of them.

Perhaps, strangely,
You hoped to find them together;
It would, at least, lend credence
To the father-son theory.

Certain that they were not in the store,
You dashed outside.

In the few seconds that passed,
A vague, albeit vengeful,
Plan began to form:
Were you to determine
That the man had defiled the
Innocent child,
You felt certain that
You would most violently
Tear the scumbag limb from limb!

Your head spun side to side.
It appeared as if you were watching
Frantic, doubles, tennis between seven mental patients.

You strained to pinpoint the players
In the waking nightmare.

The child-


The victim

Had vanished.

The scumbag


To be found.

It was the sound
Of the ignition
That drew
Your attention.

Boot set down-
Stray twig on path-
Echoing loud crack-
Your neck audibly snaps,
While focusing back
On the little red car.

Behind the wheel,
Satisfied and smug.

The passenger seat,

On you
That the man
Was indeed,
Without a doubt,
A deplorable

You looked him in the eyes.

His smirk
Twisted sadistically
Into a smile.

Glancing at
The man’s
You grew aghast.

You began to see red.

Beside yourself

You knew not how to react.

The red car started to move back.

You panicked.

You needed a plan of attack.

Revenge had been deemed absolute and necessary.
Physical retribution would be on the docket today!

You turned and saw a cord of wood.
(They are commonly found at restStop’s
throughout the country.)

The firewood was neatly stacked:
It formed a perfect arsenal of
Blunt instruments,
Waiting there,
In order,
To be hurled at abusers of the young.

Before you could think,
Splinters were digging
Into the soft flesh of your palm.

You heaved the hunk of tree
With all of the precision
And might you could muster.

As the vehicle sped off,
The wood struck the hood
With a jarring thud.

The man stepped on the gas.

From grin to grimace,
His mouth did morph.

You loaded with another log
And made chase.

Sufficiently closing the gap,
You hailed the second chunk.
The wood sailed over the
Speeding car.

In a last, ditch effort
You increased your speedLegs
were starting to give out.

The perpetrator turned back and saw
That you were gaining on him.

Our would-be hero,
Imagined yourself
Diving on to the trunk
And holding on for dear life.

(Reflecting on the experience later,
You would acknowledge that this had been
An unrealistic notion.)

That you might catch
The bastard.

The red car
Was waiting
For the
Green light.

His eyes
Your eyes
In the rearview.

His pupils
Dilated with fear.

He gunned it,
Ran the red light,
And sped off, zooming,
Down the highway.

Your sprint.

It occurred too late
To memorize
The license plate.

The fiend in the little red car
Soon disappeared over the horizon,
(Ever flat and ever distant
Throughout the state of Nevada).

The Sun
Down upon your forehead,
pouring sweat.

You felt the desert heat
Further oppressing your weary heart,
Your body exhausted.

You wiped the sweat from your
Palm on to your cargo shorts,
Quickly realizing it was not sweat at all.

You were bleeding.
Standing there defeated,
You were left mute.

Your limbs hung limp,
Heavy as cement slabs.
You trudged back towards
Her car.
Pausing only to retrieve the pieces
Of firewood from the parking lot,
You placed them back upon the pile.

She had just finished off the exterior,
While, in a daze, you returned to the car.

Without speaking,
You opened the door to the passenger side and sat down.

Automatically, the seatbelt was locked into place.

The notebook and pen were in their usual spot.

You fished them out and began to write.

“What’s going on?” She asked.

You did not answer.

“Why are you sweating so much?”

You did not answer.

“Is that blood?”


“What’s the matter?” She insisted.



Tell you
About it,

Long past

They pulled away
The rest area.

“As soon as you see a place where
I can use a bathroom, pull over.”
The tone in your voice indicated request.

“I thought you just used the bathroom.”
She was incredulous.

“Not exactly.”
You continued writing.

She really wanted to know.

“It is a long and loathsome story,”
You replied.
“Like life itself…”

With all of Nevada
Left to traverse,
They headed west.

The Sun,


Doing its best

To blind them.

GDeV 25 January 2017, Final Draft