Secret dusk is drawn over the valley in its own sandy paste. It floods from where the chocolate mountains bolt, at both ends of the valley, for the opposite wall, where both curve away out of sight. Various evenings Jack calls it an oxbow valley from the small chalk road. This night he begins to walk toward that clench, already on the road’s gentle curve, calling it where the earth falls away. Leaving the Nite Lite, whose dark, bleary room had based him for more than months and to which he had not returned after leaving by dawn, is certain at least to find a new motel to replace it, if not the end of the earth.
The convergent mountain ranges at the brink of the road are unchanging throughout the fall of dusk, which lasts hours and thickens strangely due to the false horizon of the peaks. The road curves with precision as does the valley. A chord of sight is long severed back to the Nite Lite. Night clamps down. The chapped glow of Living Waters Inn is upon him immediately, having perhaps not existed in any trace of errant daylight.
The chalk court of the motel lets onto the small road, both glowing prior to moonrise in the exposure of mercury lamps. Jack takes a room. He closes the door quietly with the latch withdrawn and slides it into the pocket by turn of handle. The hot silence haunts him. It is the silence that can exist only to precede muffled voices. The monologue of the air conditioning is quickly spirited to shape a new, more vast silence. The room has the aching Spartan clarity of a murderous impulse, as well as its dutiful restraint. Something then is missing. The dark lake of carpet only shows its green beneath three lamps. Jack adds two pillows from the far bed to the two on the window bed and sits hard facing the glazed over, dormant television. The reflection in amaranthine monochrome is still. Jack waves to it and looks over to the disrupted far bad. Something is missing.