Sunshine’s request was granted with gusto; there’s very little she cannot do. For sure, she can count on her fingers what are her limits: Can’t stay in one place longer than a day; can’t get to the mountains no matter how hard she tries; and she can’t leave Dustland. That last one is self-imposed, though. She’s been wandering the vast expanse of this non-place for so long and she never ceases to find something new to admire, a view to climb toward, a trinket or two to take. And always, always the Dustlanders take her breath away.

She doesn’t need it, either, cruising at speeds that seem rather impossible– everything a blur around her almost to the point the distance seems as close as to brush up against her sweater– colors flying by and her comfortably sitting, enjoying her ride. She likes the train because even the most concrete landscape is made transient. Nothing is ever resolute, especially in Dustland and she likes to be reminded of that every chance she is able to.

FRIT comes to check on his favorite passenger, and asks her if she is having a pleasant trip.

She says yes, thank you. I am invigorated and renewed, and have a whole day to look forward to!

The robot says there is nothing more enlivening than moving through space at breakneck speeds, it gets you to hold onto things you didn’t know you had.

They share a thoughtful conversation about the joys of locomotives and FRIT shares some stories about funny places passengers have asked to go. The end of the rainbow; Nantucket; someone asked to not be let off anywhere in particular but instead to go straight through a nemesis’ house; the Edges; that kind of thing. FRIT proudly declares he got each and every one of them exactly where they wanted to go.

And the mountains? She asks, hopeful.

No luck, he says. They’re just a shadow; nothing there to get to.

She slumps into a pout, how is that possible?

Everything is possible, even the possible being impossible. The tracks simply won’t get there.

So you don’t know if they’re nothing, you just haven’t been there! She sparks back, never out for long.

FRIT chuckles, a softer ha-ha-ha than his normal laugh. If you ever decide to go, I will take you there. I would love to see what’s hidden by that silhouette, too. His robot voice makes the word silhouette sound sing-song.

Maybe your goggles will show you something you haven’t seen, a secret passageway, perhaps! She is all shades of hopeful.

Oooooh, so there’s a thought behind your gift. He tuts and Sunshine says, of course not! I just love you, FRIT.

His eyes light up a shade of red and she can tell he is happy. So she is happy too.

Oh, a passenger! I must go. And so Frit glides away and Sunshine is left to contemplate her daydream: why are the mountains so tantalizing? She remembers vaguely going through mountains in her days before Dustland, but there was nothing magical about them. Simply popping ears and carsickness. well, there were incredible views, too. She doesn’t remember what they looked like; her forgetfulness seeping into parts she didn’t realize she had to hold on to.

Something about these mountains sang to her, beckoned her to come closer. And she tried, but she never did. Her feet wouldn’t close the distance no matter how far she’d go; the train wouldn’t do and even waking up to chance kept her the same distance from the grand outline that framed the entire west side of sandy Dustland, too. Every creature she asked said the same thing: it’s a fixture of the view and nothing more. Always had been there, though.

She tries to pick single figures from the rolling world as the train changes its trajectory. Always cacti towering higher than any cactus should, and rocks that look more like ruins even through the incomplete glances the speeds would allow her to focus through. Always the same and always different, she thinks. Just like me.

A second of loneliness sneaks its way in, but she flips her focus to go back down to the cabin: there’s a passenger to meet!



Onward to you, shiny city! Such splendors she never imagined could be so pretty. Surprisingly she never gets tired of the spires and sparkly walls no matter how often she visits. And she visits a lot. Well, every time it catches her whimsy. Which is a lot. Such fantastic streets, nothing’s clear and nothing’s resolute, simple colors shimmering around while she shimmies her way around to get the city goers to join her in her revelry. Such an empire! She is always amazed, and at the hermits and vagabonds that hang out on the edges! Such marvelous entities. Almost forgotten, but she sees them. Of course she does, she always goes to visit them! She’s brought gifts and they’re good ones.

She woke up this morning a little late to start, not really sure where she is but she knows how to get to the train by heart no matter where she is so there’s that comfort that she’s got a way to get to where she wants to be; not everyone in Dustland is so lucky. Poor waifs! Poor ghosts! They’re so lost they don’t know where they’ve come from. She tries and she tries to get them to remember, wake up! You’re fading! But they can only live in the now and hope that the now doesn’t forget them, either. She hasn’t forgotten. Not Sam, not the old coot at the corner of Warm Fork and Ravenden, not the blind old bat who sleeps in the sewers. She remembers.

Today she ended up in between a bridge and nothing. It’s usually that way. Something interesting, and something nothing. The bridge is not bridging anything, just standing in this nowhere and not doing a very good job of it. The asphalt has gaps she could fall through easily and there’s big, buzzy cracks that raise some concern to those in its proximity. Bye, bridge, she waves it farewell.

She starts walking and closes her eyes. Concentrates on the inside like she’s so used to doing, train, train, I have a date with you today and you’re taking me amazing places! What an adventure. What a bright day.

And it is bright. Even though her eyes are closed, she can see through to the horizon and the mountain range beside. She sighs longingly toward the mountains and feels she’s closer to them as ever; although they’re markedly in the distance as they always have been. Oh, the train! She imagines she can hear its proud horn greeting her and the tracks leading straight to where she wants to go. What a ride. I even made FRIT some goggles! Oh, he’ll have a fit when he sees through them.

And, so, the train tracks show the longer she walks, sand trying to bury them and them trying to bury the sand. And, yes, the horn sounds shortly after that. She smiles, delighted as she always is to take the train, her best and longest friend, the Trail Blazer, making itself useful in Dustland for twice as long as she’s been here.

She waves and waves, her bags in the crook of her elbow, weighing everything and nothing all the same. They hold her treasures; her wishes and secrets. She loves these bags that hold her things.

The train is loud and bright and amazingly fast, and as it slows the car door stops right in front of her to step expediently, her lucky beeline only up to fate. FRIT glides on tracks in the ceiling, the only addition to the Trail Blazer since it was introduced to Dustland in the beginning. Good morning, Sunshine, where are you headed today? FRIT asks in the typical robot tone she loves to hear.

The city! She exclaims, climbing the steps jovially, precariously pulling her bags through the opening. Take me to the city that shines, that glows, that is so aliiive! And she twirls in the cabin aisle as FRIT cans a laugh and doesn’t ask her for a ticket. I made you something, FRIT! She smiles at him and puts her things down to rummage in one bag, then another, then maybe that one; she can’t remember which one she put it in, but wait here please, I swear I’m about to find it! And she is. And she does. She pulls out a heap of orange plastic; shakes it out and puts the Os around FRIT’s eye holes and steps back to admire him. Gleeful, she asks, what do you see?

FRIT exclaims a little ooOoo and swivels around to look out the window. FRIT laughs his canned laugh and tells her he will never be lost again nor miss a passenger that needs him. He can see it all.

She smiles her wide smile again and says, hey, can I ride on the roof?


The more the momentum the more of the inertia every turn throws me into full certainty of my reflexes flying faster than ever and trusting light points to guide me but the twilight is all I need to see where I’m headed: The ever distant skyline of the Rockies.

Hurtling me to dwell forever in the brand new ideas that breakthrough like Plexiglas caught driving through an intersection that flashes me into an archive I have no access to causes me to ask the questions that bring them forward one by one: an endless potential outcome but always one trajectory.

The road is much too long for it not to lead you where you’re going when you’re ready to take the turn as it comes up we know life changes turn the world upside down but sometimes the escape is all you need to fly back forward to where you want to be, an expanding, looping reaction that becomes a trail of anecdotes and ‘huh, who knew’s tangling up in destiny. Every road is a right road if you’re curious to see where the winding ones will lead you, answers following you never knew would visit so soon; potential curves and hills and hazards that constantly keep you on your toes, and Lord knows you’re pumping the gas because the time doesn’t last but the distance can as long as you outrun the night.


Silly son you don’t have to be gone to become all that is,

Your fantastic treasure chases still live on in your chest,

It’s time to unravel the quest and remember what you came here to do

There is much, much more for you. Visible, indivisible,

Available to you every frame of every moment never stagnant

Always whitewater racing to the next best thing

You become what you are and you’re far, far behind. Tell you what,

I will give you everything if you let your past die.

I must give up everything I am not to become everything that I am.

I am not afraid. I am with you. I am that I am. I am eternal.

Death is not free. Life is free. Life is given, death is earned.

Life is the laughter in spring in unlikely persons meeting destiny

In life we find miracles and mysteries, questions and answers,

Always skipping to the next chapter to find out what happens next

There is no rest when life is good and tantalizing and sweet,

The dreams are good to slingshot you into the fantasies you want to

SEE in panoramic perceptions you didn’t know your eyes could give you

See Heaven and explore the playground you’ve been given

There is more than you can know. Now step on it. Let’s go.

Gotta grab my jacket.

Come as you are.