Desert Not Too Far Away


I’m somewhere in California. I’ve driven until all that surrounds me is mountains, the odd house, and rusty pavement. I glance at my gas gauge; it’s lessened about half which means I’ll be empty by the time I arrive home. The signs on the freeway are displaying cities like San Francisco, Lancaster, and Santa Clarita.

The wind seems so slow, the temperature hot, there’s no question LA is far behind me. There’s a bend in the road so I take it, then turn again onto a private road, if this is even a road. I swerve to dodge the odd pothole in the dirt.

“Stop right here,” Jon directs. I slow to a halt. Dust seems to fly up toward my driver’s side window as the tires skid — just a little — before Viola, my good ol’ Honda, comes to a complete stop. I look around. If I scream at the top of my lungs it would be muffled by the open air of nothingness, heard only by the lonely tarantula making its way across the dusty path.

The last building I saw was ten minutes ago. It was a rather large, rather well-decorated home with gigantic glass windows and a handcrafted entrance door similar to the homes seen in Beverly Hills. The house stood alone: no neighbors, no restaurants, the closest convenient store twenty or so miles back near a truck stop exit. My imagination runs wild. I picture a man holding female hostages in the basement of this large home he shares with his invalid mother. I imagine screeching cries coming from within the hollow depths of the dungeon he’s built underneath the house only to be muffled by the silent-proof walls. I shake the thought and continue down the road. Too many horror films.

My boyfriend and I are shooting photographs for my new website. But I’m not talking the boring, girl-next-door (that I have now) where I’m smiling, posing, and so obviously guarded. I’ve changed direction. The new photos will be, how should I put it, bad a—-. There’s no posing. There’s no smiling. Natural, is more like it. The way I’ve always wanted to do it, but was too scared some agent wouldn’t like them.

I’m wearing a leather coat. I’ve taken off everything underneath, and I unzip it just enough to expose the piece of red lace I’m wearing. The fitted leopard mini skirt and four-inch heels work. A complete contrast to the desert I’m in. Jon flings a cigarette at me. I catch it.

“Put that in your mouth,” he says.

And then something came over me after we shot for a while. I took the coat off, and then the skirt, and before I knew it I was running free, completely uninhibited. Not pics for my website, but pics for me. It was kinda fun not to care … to let go … to just … be. It doesn’t get more natural than that, right?

Highly recommended.

Alice can be reached at

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Tales of a Toluca Lake Actress

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