This story marks the start of new challenge for me. As often as possible, my good friend Chelsea Carbonell (Twitter: @infinitevirtu) and talented photographer, is going to send me a picture. Using that picture, I will try to create some sort of relevant story. My goal is that this will force me to write more and motivate her to get out and find interesting photographs. Either way, it’s going to be a blast for the both of us, and I already cannot wait for the next picture! Visit her twitter and give her some love if you like her pictures.
“But I miss the mountains,” she complained, “plus, it’s so hot.”
“No sense talking about that now. Would you like some water?”
She nodded, and he fished a bottle from the old suitcase he was carrying. The bottle crinkled under his grip and the contents were warm, but he handed it to her anyways.
His suit had faded from a dark to a light gray. He used to wear it to special occasions, like when he received his first promotion or when their grandson turned one, but he has long since retired. Now, the cuffs spliced into ragged shards, no longer held together by links–he lost one of them miles back and discarded the other for sake of symmetry. He loosened his top button and tie, wearing it lower along his chest. Everything in shambles, especially the shoes, which held together by thin sinews of leather.
They walked south along a desert road, flat as boredom and everlasting. To the west, an old railroad paralleled their path, cutting them off from a distant rolling of hills. No trains had passed since they have been walking, but the distant crossing lights seemed operational. Above all else, however, they noticed the heat; not heavy, but oppressive nonetheless. It wore them to the core without compassion nor escape. Yet, they kept walking.
“Does your hand hurt? Let me take your suitcase, darling.”
Together, they inched along, best friends understanding without talking. Up ahead they noticed a man standing at a road crossing over the rail. They had seen crossings before, but never thought to, or were never called to go over them. He leaned against a sign with one leg propped up. He wore a black baseball cap, faded and dirtied by the desert heat. A cigarette hung from his lips as he looked towards the ground, raising them calmly only when the old man spoke.
“Where does this lead?,” the old man inquired.
“Down a’ways is a rest stop. Ain’t much but a place to rest your head.”
“How far? We have been walking for a long time.”
“Not sure, but I’ll take y’ there.”
“What is your name?”
“That’s a unique name.”
“These are unique times.”
The old man handed over their suitcases, and together, all three crossed the tracks and continued down the road.