As I hike into the deserty underbrush, it soon becomes clear that the mesa is much farther away than it first appeared. I have only a little water and start to question myself. Here are some of the thoughts randomly passing through my mind:
"Rattlesnakes: eyes down."
"Mountain lions: eyes up."
"Thirsty: Conserve water."
"Stupid, Kelley. Stupid."
"You know, you don't always have to follow impulse."
The mesa was haunted. Obviously full of life at one time, there were traces of people whose absence was louder than my presence. A huge indentation in the sand showed where once a river flowed, carrying life into this valley. An ancient dam indicated some kind of irrigation system...but all for naught. Life had disappeared.
I felt frightened as though I, too, could disappear. I said a silent prayer to the spirits there, asking for safe passage. I explored for a bit, but I couldn't stay long. I felt the weight of thousands of eyes watching even though no one was there. Ultimately, I felt as though the dead sensed my presence. Maybe they thought they were dreaming me or maybe I was dreaming them, but as I walked away I was happy to return to my world before it, too, disappeared.