There’s nothing quite like politics to make one appreciate the silence of our desert. Its creatures slither and creep, flit noiselessly across rock and sand, hunt by stealth and by night. Survival dictates that they not waste energy being active during the heat of the day. A great place for quiet contemplation.
When Bush 43 was re-elected, we hastily packed up the RV and retreated to a deep desert outpost miles away from even the smallest hamlet. Virtually total isolation, there to lick our wounds and seek solace in the friendly silence.
Now, with the lumpen image of Trump everywhere, I take Brandi every morning into a favorite nearby desert hideaway and wonder how any civilized country could possibly have sunk to the depths where presidential candidates actually debate in public about penis size.
Political insults about body parts aren’t new in America — Lincoln’s long arms, for example, prompted a chorus of lewd remarks from his opponents. But the overall tone of the Republican campaigns has become so churlish, so childish that no precedent comes to mind. It is a bottomless pit of slime.
The two Democrats, by comparison, have behaved in far more seemly fashion, even though one of them has a disdain for truth that rivals the Republicans’. Clinton’s smarmy proclamations of being “progressive” don’t help one’s digestion, either.
Better to bask in the sunshine and silence of el desierto. Here, a solitary roadrunner pauses arrogantly beside a mesquite bush before dashing across the dirt jeep track. There a rare burrowing owl chatters defiant protection of her nest. Blue desert beetles scamper across pebbly terrain where mule deer deposited scat a few hours earlier. Bits of coyote fur still cling to a cholla.
Today, clouds are skittering across a sky that’s usually all blue, but there’s no rain in them. Maybe in a day or two, if the el nino winds keep up. Their whisper is the loudest sound around us, unless an aircraft intrudes on its way to or from the local airport.
By accident I glimpse a jackrabbit stark still in the shade of a desert shrub. If I move it will bolt, but we just stare at one another. Finally Brandi catches a whiff of it and forces the action. The jack speeds away, Brandi gives chase for four or five steps, then gives up, knowing he can’t catch those things. At five he’s an old desert hand and he, too appreciates the silence.
He finds a sunny, sandy spot and stretches out for a nap.
Prattle away, you preening, puerile jackasses and your coterie of talking heads. We can’t hear you. You can’t touch us out here in our desert.