Floating Points - Reflections - Mojave Desert
The sick sense of heat bubbles in on your forehead. Silence, and then, the sun doubles in size beating down from Olympian heights. You came to the woods, the water, to watch your head crack open and pool, bubbling. Each one of you took a handful, a piece, a fragment of light that’s been circulating for generations from mouth to air to sea.
You hang back while everyone goes swimming. Shades on, another planet, and those first arresting tones seep out, unfolding emotional geometry. A small pod, essentially crustacean, sits in the sand while you photograph naiads, swirling. Synthesizer wavers, and then the crashing guitar sparks waves. They’re tossing a beach ball around. Or maybe a Frisbee. The way otters swim, trade places, ebb on. Moments later the drums kick in and the pentagram party shifts. You’re still taking photos, the satellite hovering around the body around the water and into it as it grows. Forever changes, they told you, but your sunglasses paint the rocks a sickly, Silurian Blue. Heat smacks a tempo kindled by the frantic drone. Two hours have passed already.
Then the synth again. Occasionally birds of prey coast through the trees, their wings beating trees, a heavy sweat and fog coating your sunglasses as you remember your own eyes. Peel them off, from your vantage point under the squeamish tree, and suddenly you’re seeing. An army of Kites school in the sky, in the background you hear a voice shouting:
“Throw your rocks! We can topple it!”
Now it’s the drums. Some of the naiads slink out of the water and catch the tune, now straining against itself. Others are still trying to destroy the rock pile, the efforts of human history, or maybe just this afternoon’s labor. The game squeals into victory music. Camera in hand you watch them spin, attempt to catch something of the light on Kelso Dunes, but fall short. Out in the water you can hear them again:
“No, you have to wait for the shell to crack before you can eat it…”
A rock hits the tree.
“You ever tried it before?”
Electric hues bloom like fields of clouds.
“You start with the head!”
The rocks come crashing down and you feel the taste of metal in your mouth.
“One more time…”
You’ve been wearing sunglasses this whole time. Something slinks from the water, primordial as first ooze.
What are they talking about – the words emerge like data from your lens.
“I think they’re talking about eating a baby duck.”
You look down at your hands, then the sand. A tiny speaker the size of a barnacle has started over again. Buried in the rhythm is something different, not yet exactly the same.
I think they remixed the whole album on these last two tracks, your mouth formulates. Later you’ll realize that’s wrong. It’s a “continuous mix” and a “visual album”.
“Oh, really? That’s cool.”
You hand your camera over and your shadow runs off into the dunes. You’d leave if you could, but somehow this lake is the swollen curve of the world. The soft sound of space careening revs again.
The rock pile topples.
“I had it once – ‘twas a delicacy”
Modern capitalism crashing.
“But you have to break it out of the shell”
Modern music imploding.
The reserve of the self – double infinity – a figure 8.
Picking up your shadow’s notebook, you try to compress it all into concrete diagrams, phrases epigrammatic, future congealing. Mostly it just comes out as garbled mash:
You have to break out of the shell.
You sit up from the rocks, topography folding Lucerne Valley, and wobble back to camp.
*We should make a fire* a voice inside of you says.
The remaining naiads emerge. The sun hangs high, harsh, blazing above on the nightless planet. A blink, and then, a fire. A night swim. A nearly full moon. The sun makes a full rotation just as your eyes close.
Crawling out of your tent, you begin packing up. Wordless, sensory. Everything is too bright, like seeing. On the bus ride home you fall asleep to the dull throb of that gestating synthesizer, recall the perfume mix of sick heat and lilac, watch the human next to you align blocks in a puzzle game.
The trip is over. But wait, what were you supposed to tell them about Floating Points?
You taste eggshell in your dinner all next week.