The Lake, The Dust

At K-mart I bought boots stitched from the remains of dinosaurs. They lasted what a white person’s idea of a native would call many moons. Me and the boots hiked the mountains west of the Black Rock Desert, this landscape thorned and poppied, hissing with rattlers. The desert itself was alkaline, the dust silty-fine, so that it worked into everything, even your skin, and started grinding things apart. I slipped these same boots past my toes for a day trip to The Lake with Jon. Everyone says “The Lake” like that in Reno, because people who live at “The Lake” have money, and us living in the meadows give blood to buy beer. Jon’s Mercury Cougar had rust damage that spotted it like pimples. Jon didn’t even live in Reno. He lived in the desert. That should tell you something about his skin.

James Iredell lives in Atlanta. He is design editor of C&R Press and was a founding editor of New South. His book is When I Moved to Nevada (The Greying Ghost Press) and his work can be found in many magazines including The Chattahoochee Review, Descant, The Literary Review, Avery, Zone 3, elimae, and others.