If you must stay, stay; but I have to retreat into a desert of black sand, blacker than the beaches of Hawaii or the Canaries, where the dunes pile up like mountains, and the afterglow of sunset turns the ground rocks red, and emaciated vultures pick at the bones of travellers gone mad. There’s a harsh but real culture here, more real than the old new spun world of the sugar dad, the glamorous ad, the land of the supposedly free and glad, the domain of the rich captains and their slowly sinking ships riding the rising oceans. Better to desert with all the rats. Better that fat cats starve and that whippets rule the earth. Better the wasteland of chaste sand than the wilderness of plastic packaging and rotting fish. The cactus may tear the flesh, the prickly pear may prick, the rock may not turn into bread, but the dried-up wadi is a path and the snake is a sign and the rock a pillow — for forty days and forty nights and perhaps forever.
From a novel in progress