I was walking into the desert sun. The horizon was dunes of sand, shining in all their yellowy brilliance. There was no water in sight.
She was walking beside me, with her head on my shoulder. It kept bobbing up and down.
"Hmmm... ", she moaned. "Water. Do you see it?"
"Ahh... no. Not yet, anyway" I said.
"Oh my God. This reminds me of that really long poem." she said.
"Oh which one? The Rime of the Ancient Mariner?" I said, looking at her hair. It shone in the sunshine.
"Yeah. By William Wordsworth."
"No, sorry, my dear. It is by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, who happened to be friends with this Wordsworth guy."
"Oh. You know so much, man. Don't you rock?" she said, and gave me a wink.
"There's one thing I still don't know, though."
"Why does the absence of water in the desert remind of you of the poem."
"Ohh, that. I don't know. Maybe there was this thing about water in that poem."
"Yeah, there was this line - 'Water water everywhere, not a drop to drink'. But that was said in the open ocean, not the desert."
"Yeah. But it gives you the same vibe. A parched throat is a parched throat, in the middle of an ocean and in the middle of a desert."
"Yeah. Anyway, I've always thought a desert is similar to a sea."
"Really? Why is that? No, why in hell is that?"
"Because a camel is called the ship of the desert."
"What? Did I hear you right?"
"Yes, you did."
"Oh, man. How awesome!"
"What? You liked this?"
"The thing about the camel."
"No. I mean, yes, I loved it."
"It was a joke, for God's sake. A sad joke, a really sad joke."
"No, it wasn't. It was beautiful."
"How in hell can that be beautiful? You're putting down all beautiful things, for God's sake." I said incredulously.
"No. I am not. I found this beautiful. And you can't tell me what to find beautiful. It's my choice. I choose what is beautiful for me, and you choose for yourself."
"Yes, maybe. So you find the desert beautiful?"
"I don't know."
"And do you find the palm trees beautiful?"
"I don't know."
We kept walking in silence for about 10 minutes. It was really hot. The sun almost touched the horizon.
"Do you see water?" she asked me.
"I don't. Why, are you thirsty?"