Just when it first happened I cannot say, neither can I recall how but I remember who it was. Her name was Elizabeth and her long hair lives in my memory as a vivid red flame. Being young and untutored in worldly ways, I found myself perturbed and bewildered at those feelings that surfaced whenever I caught sight of her. I kept them well hidden though, for I knew they could be used as a weapon against me and I was vulnerable enough in my tender youth. Alas, I never expressed that emotion to Liz and she disappeared from my life forever. Since that day I've lied on occasion to women and myself, in the hope that I might rediscover that emotion but those efforts bore no fruit other than the bitter tang of disappointment and regret. Only once did I feel something akin to that which I experienced in my youth. I didn't know her name but she called herself Annabel and she lived on the screen. What a strange world that she should be the font of so much joy and of so many of my tears.
The un-tempered sun burns in the sky, never moving in a land of unceasing daylight. As I turn about I see my footsteps fading in the sand. I recall my thoughts when I started this journey across this desert and I laugh, the man who died on the way was better and braver but he was a fool and fools deserve such a fate as he. It’s cruel to laugh at fools but cruelty is the burden of the desert, the lesson whispered in the sands. I took up the rote taught by many sage and oracle and set my voice to its metre. Thirst beckons, she demands a tribute paid in leather from the sole -- of a shoe, footsteps in the sand -- as I turn about.