Picture with me....... If you will.
Close your eyes, listen to this song and the lyrics very closely. Picture what you hear and feel. Let the music engulf you, take you to a whole new world. Can you get that into a song? I totally can. When we lived in the desert in California I used to go outside and just walk off into the nothingness, sand, yucca trees and cacti as far as you can see in any direction. I suppose I was 14 or so, starting the 9th grade in the 3rd high school already. Failing at everything, failing at life. I was a loner, a freak, a skateboarder, an addict, and a loser. So lost was I, that I would take these walks often..for hours ... after all, I had nothing but time.
I would listen to this song and felt like I was watching a movie unfolding before me. It starts out with a little boi walking across the sandy desert, a ice cold bottle of Thunderbird in hand. Nothing but dead things; animals, bones, trees, bushes, cacti, abandoned houses and falling down shacks. Even the living things in the desert, play dead most of the time. Most of the things that are living in deserts are very dangerous to people, rattle snakes, sidewinders, and scorpions. They were the creatures he admired, remnants of prehistoric times. He admired their survival instincts the most. Do they feel happiness or sadness he wondered. He thought one day he would just keep walking and not turn back, let the desert consume him. Maybe one day one of these amazing creatures would end him, and he would thank them for it. His mind drifts from subject to subject as he walks towards something.... or maybe nothing. "I WON'T GIVE UP THAT EASILY" he yells towards the sky. "I am not ready to go."
The soft sand kept his feet from hurting and he walked on for miles, lost in his thoughts of despair and loneliness. He glimpsed a destination in the distance, his new goal to attain. Stopping only momentarily to pull a random cactus needle out of his leg, he traveled swiftly. The pace slowed as he came up to an old house, dilapidated, but still intact. It was very mysterious to him. He stood there staring, puzzled at the sight. There is no trail or road and he was miles away from the closest buildings. Yet, here in the middle of nothingness, there stands a lone house.
Very cautiously he walked up to a window and looked in. It was bright inside because the roof was decayed and the sunlight gleamed off of something on the floor. He noticed there were still curtains on the windows and furniture in the room. His heartbeat began to thump in his chest. This was fascinating to him. For the first time in a while he was genuinely excited. Creeping around he noticed the front door was wide open. Stepping over old empty cans, bottles and plastic packages, he walked towards it. Being young and stupid, he just walked right in.
When he walked in he yelled "Hello, is anyone here?" Nothing, complete silence was the answer. He took a few more steps in and heard a long *cReAk* noise coming from the floor. It sounded as if it were in pain from his weight. It was once painted a bright blue color. There were only traces of the color left in it, for most was gray and dark from years of sand and wind. Everything inside was dull and dirty, sand was everywhere. There were couches and chairs, whose fabric was faded, ripped and torn. The floor and walls were made of regular plywood. There was a shelf with nicknack's on it, dishes, bottles, a book and an empty crystal ashtray on the coffee table. Some of these items looked as if they had not moved in years, while others were bright and shiny like they were just put there. It was creepy to him to see all these personal items left in this decaying building.
Wondering aloud he spoke again "Can anyone hear me?" Whoever lived here was gone, but where had they gone? They obviously left in a real hurry. Perhaps...... they were dead. Maybe they died here of natural causes, or were murdered. Could the creatures of the desert have killed them? His mind was racing now, full of "what if." They might be buried under the house. Possibly, they had come into some money and just up and moved away. Yes, that was it, they got rich and just moved out. That was what he wanted to believe, true or not. He looked down on the floor and saw a large hole in the floor. In the hole there were some shiny and some dull objects in a neat pyramid stack. It looked like the plywood had collapsed from the weight.
What were these things? They appeared to be balls of rock. Some were small and some big, ranging from about a golf ball to the size of a grapefruit. Some were solid and some were cracked. Reaching down to pick one up he noticed his hands were trembling. All the excitement was getting to him, and not in a good way.... he was getting scared. He picked up one of the things off the top of the pile. It was heavy for its size, but just looked like a normal rock. He picked up another one and part of it fell on the ground. He turned the part in his hand over and it was very shiny, like white, frosted, jagged glass inside the rock. The object was so pretty with the light gleaming off of it.
He bent down to pick up another and it was broken in half too, actually it was somewhat shattered. It was a yellowish glass on the inside. Yet another one caught his eye. It was bigger than most and had gold metallic lines on the outside. Part of it was burnt looking, like scorched from extreme heat. He remembered seeing drawings of the space shuttles reentry into the atmosphere. The nose of the shuttle was red hot, and burnt looking after it landed. Imagination running wild his mind searched frantically for an answer. What the hell were these new, amazing things? The answer hit him like a brick, he knew what these were. METEORITES FROM OUTER SPACE! Soooo cool he thought, I am holding space rocks. Maybe they are worth a lot of money. "I can take a few back home with me and take them to the pawn shop," he thought.
Looking down at even more meteorites, he was startled by a loud noise. Freezing solid, spider sense at maximum, he tried not to allow even one breath to escape. Glancing down at the coffee table he finally realized the new looking astray, was just that, new. The empty Mountain Dew bottle still contained bubbling liquid and that was the new label and logo on it. "Holy Shit" he though, "somebody is still using this house." He heard another loud noise, a horrible screeching sound. Dropping all the rocks he bolted for the door. Turn right he thought, NO LEFT! Down the side of the house he ran, while trying to swallow his heart back out of his throat.
Around the back of the house and straight out into the open desert he ran. When his throat began to burn and his lungs gasped for oxygen, he forced himself to run even more. Never once did he look back, dodging and jumping over dead things, and cacti. Giant prickly pear cacti. It looks like large beaver tails, loaded with needles. Finally he slowed his pace when he could feel the pain in every muscle in his body. Then he thought, I have to look back..... but ...... but. What if there was a killer right behind him, so close to him? Maybe he had killed those people in the abandoned house. At that moment a realization came to him, he didn't really care. What would be so bad about death, anyway?
He was shaking so hard when he forced himself to turn around. There was nothing there. The house was small and far away now, but he couldn't see anyone. "I really need a fucking drink" he thought. He looked down and saw he was still holding the Thunderbird. Just a few sips, it was a long way home. He was still scared, what if they had saw him in the house? What if they came looking for him? I can take them on all by myself, he thought. I am not afraid of anybody. It was getting dark as he walked slowly on through the desert. He was kicking himself for going in that house. If those rocks were really valuable, they would come looking for him. Stupid boi, there could have been rapist, robbers or serial killers in there. "Mom would lock me in the house forever if she knew what I did," he thought to himself. Why did his parents have to move here? Of all the forsaken lands in America, here?!? Nothing, nothing, and more nothing! Why didn't he have a choice? Yeah, he knows... he is just a kid. His opinion is NOT important.
It was about 70 degrees and the sky is a deep blue and crystal clear, it is always crystal clear at night. He is looking up as he walks, watching thousands of stars on the sky. They are so amazing as they twinkle and glimmer. How can things millions of miles away be so awe inspiring? Questions began filling his mind, nothing but questions. Where did the people go? There are literally thousands of abandoned houses, shanties and buildings scattered out here in the desert. Did they all die, or were they miners that just moved on? It is so mysterious and somewhat depressing. Were they missed? Was someone waiting for them to come home? Did they ever make it home? If he never went home would anyone even care? He choked down some more cheap wine.
He wonders a lot as he walks, for he really is just a child. He can not understand this wasteland, that has become his life. Without notice, the dam burst wide open inside him. He is completely overcome with sadness. Up in the sky, he sees the tears in his girlfriend's big, brown eyes on that last night they were together. Those sweet, salty tears, he kissed away for hours on end. They swore they would stay together, forever, but he had not heard from her in months. Those wonderful letters, the ones with the big bubble hearts and the smiley faces...... had stopped. Part of his heart was gone, and he missed her so much.
They told him, his parents, to go and make new friends after the first move, that was hard enough. Then they said "It's OK, you can make even more friends" after the second move. He sees all those faces in the stars, and feels all those scars inside him. Did they care that he was gone, did they miss him like he missed them? They cut him so deep and then poured the alcohol in.....it felt like he was drowning in a lake of fire.
There was nothing for him here, NOTHING! Even those concrete playgrounds where he rode away his cares away on his skateboard, were gone. Here was a land of sand and shitty asphalt that you couldn't even roll on. Consumed..... so lost, he stood all alone....... and his whole body quivered, buckling under the weight of his world. He cried like he never had before, no friends, no girlfriend, no hobbies, nothing except drugs, alcohol and pain. Finally he crumbled, just like his world. Falling to the ground on all fours, and the tears flowed like the great Mississippi River. The cool, dry sand his only friend, soaking up all his sorrows.
It seemed to be getting brighter outside, but it had to be around midnight now. The tears had run out. On the ground where they poured, there was not even a trace. The sand seems to erase everything.... without a trace. Just like the people who lived in all those abandoned houses. Suddenly, It looked like someone had set off fireworks in the heavens. Several stars were shooting through the sky, looking almost like they were dancing. He closed his eyes and listened to the silence only the desert can offer, broken only by occasional howls of night predators.
Without even realizing it he begins holding out his hands, palms up to the sky. Wishing for answers, praying for answers or just an end to all the pain. He feels something warm and tingly on his hands. The feeling instantly relaxes him, like a baby sleeping on it's mothers chest, listening to her heartbeat. He feels like he is melting inside, it feels ...... so .... so wonderful. Opening his eyes he sees that he is holding a small, glimmering STAR! It is so bright he can barely look at it until his eyes adjust. It bounces in his hands so playfully and joyfully. Flying around him, sprinkles of light falling like pixie dust, and then back to his hands again.
He stands up ever so slowly. He is afraid he is going to scare it away. It is the most wonderful thing he has EVER seen or touched and he does not EVER want to let it go. He begins to squeeze his hands together tightly to make sure he will not drop it and he starts to walk faster again. His house is getting closer and he wishes he could run, full speed ahead. Maybe it will fit in a jar so he can keep it and play with it anytime he wants. His father could poke holes in the lid just like when he caught those horny toad lizards. Wait.....he remembers he had to let them go, they were going to die in that jar.
Suddenly he stops, because he realizes, it is not his to take. No one can own an other's life. He can not keep the star, no matter how bad he wants too or how good it makes him feel. It gave him what he had to have, something wonderful, amazing, a truly life changing experience for him. He did something impossible, something everyone says cannot be done, HE CAUGHT A FALLING STAR!!! The star lightened his burden, eased the regret and sorrow. A piece of him was brought back, a little piece of hope. Making the impossible, possible, there is no better testament to hope than that. Someone did care.
He knows deep in his heart someone else NEEDS this star much, much more than he does now. Someone else who is innocent, yet being ravaged and torn to shreds by loneliness and pain. He was a soulless being, stripped of all reason to live, ripped away from everybody and everything he ever loved and cared for. He will see them all again, the star told him, and he finally had something to believe in. He thanked that little star and hugged it so tight. Raising his arms to the night sky..... he let it go ....... and he sang........ A star is out...... I reach for one to sparkle in my hand....... A star is out...... I will not touch you, I am just a man .........