The Desert Is Where I’ve Been

A hot, dry and barren desert is where I’ve been—surviving on stale drops squeezed from a long empty canteen. Longer that I can remember. Longer than I want to think about.

At the horizon I saw a glimmer of green. Hazy in the distance. A mirage, I thought. But I was drawn to it. Slowly, without realizing it at first. As I got closer, the fragrance of the oasis was overwhelming. Intoxicating.

Then I found the well. Nestled in a sheltered place it seemed to wait for me. Ready for me to discover it. So I drank. I drank long and deep… And for one glorious day I came so very close to quenching my thirst.

But the next day, the Gestapo arrived. They surrounded my well with guns drawn, trying to drive me back into the desert. Tears streamed down, their flow unstoppable. I will not go crawling back into the desert. I will not lie in a wasteland. Unless they make me. And they could. With a word they could cut off all access to my well. And I live in fear of them.

One cup, they tell me. You can have one small cup from the well. So I take it. And here I stay. Still somewhat shaded in the oasis, sitting at the feet of the Gestapo I fear, waiting for my cup. Because I reason that it’s better to survive on a few sips of the best water I’ve ever tasted… than the stale, bitter drops found in the desert.

5 thoughts on “The Desert Is Where I’ve Been

  1. I have reread this piece many, many times. I think it’s one of, if not your saddest. The tristesse in your resignation to what has befallen you leaves you without any hope. The pain bursts out from the page. I can only hope it’s bearable.


    • This was written while I was in the throws of agony, the page left damp from my tears. It is but a memory now, so I’m glad I wrote it out. Or I could easily forget just how bad it was at the time.

  2. Pingback: 5×5 With The Hook: Marian Green. | You've Been Hooked!

  3. I really like it. I’m not sure how you meant your story to be interpreted, but to me, the well is a relationship and the cup could represent the lingering feelings after a relationship ends.

    Good story!

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