I left drylab Saturday. I was not the only one to say goodbye. No, Saf left before me. She headed east on foot. I assume conflict drove her mad. Inexplicably drawn to the group, forming relationships with each of us, simultaneously spying on us like we are criminals, reporting back to greedy men. I’d like to think this group made her think twice, but more than likely she turned us all in and left before it got ugly.

A few others planned to leave after me, but I did not stick around to find out.

I’ve stopped in a city on my way northeast. It’s quiet here, but not the same kind of quiet as the desert. Rather, it’s false. No owls wake me. No ravens call to me. No lizards ruffle in the creosote. There is no breeze to cool my skin and no stars to guide my way. Tall structures of concrete stifle the morning sun. Roads and structures smother growth.

People seem to think time moves faster in the city, in the ‘real’ world. And I think it moves too fast for me. I left drylab and thought I’d never look back, but I’m still sitting outside and drinking tea every morning. The people, the place, the situation. They made more of an impression on me than I thought. Perhaps someday I will venture back to drylab, and perhaps it will rain for the first time in seven years. Until then.

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