“Pavement Ends”: A prose piece by Luca Foggini



by Luca Foggini

Think of the most ridiculous town.

It has a salon with swing open doors and streets where duels were started on the last chime of a


The F-15 fighter jets fly over out there, practicing bomb runs meant for some Middle Eastern


It has a Super 8 and a Best Western. It has a pancake place, three gas stations, one grocery store.

Just a town with two long roads, so flat and long you can see places where snow is. Where you

are it is baking hot. The asphalt melts the soles of your shoes and tires pop in the sun.

Later we drive out to the sand dunes. The Joshua Trees stand sentinel, as if they move when you’re

not looking.

There’s tumbleweed, snakes, scorpions, and salt. The sand dunes vibrate, a deep sound like a

whale. You are above it all, washboard roads for mile, rusted over a personal shooting gallery of

cans and old televisions. Cathode tubes smashed around a “Pavement Ends” sign.

But you can see the place you stopped last where it was 30 degrees.

Warming hands on a hot chocolate, we waited in the car so that the heat would boot up and the

window would defrost. There is hard-packed dirty snow under the wheels.

And now the icicles are melting in the desert sun and there’s a pool of water flowing into the

gutter, evaporating on the pavement.