Short Fiction: Songs For America – Three Women in the desert

For a perfect experience, we suggest you listen to this song whilst reading.

AZ Monument Valley1 by Glenda Goldschmied AZ Monument Valley5 by Glenda Goldschmied AZ Monument Valley2 by Glenda Goldschmied AZ Desert1 by Glenda Goldschmied AZ Monument Valley4 by Glenda Goldschmied AZ Grand Canyon2 by Glenda Goldschmied AZ Grand Canyon3 by Glenda Goldschmied AZ Route66 Holbrook Inn2 by Glenda Goldschmied AZ Grand Canyon7 by Glenda Goldschmied AZ Route66 Seligman by Glenda Goldschmied AZ Desert3 by Glenda Goldschmied


Sweet Mary Mother Of Jesus I need to pee. I should have done it when I left Peter’s house and now I’m driving and I can’t really stop because it wouldn’t be a nice thing to stop in this moment. But then I can’t even picture the scene “Sorry Peter it’s over but can I use the bathroom, it’s urgent”. I laugh; it’s a thought that makes me laugh. Oh no poor Peter, I shouldn’t laugh at Peter. But let’s be fair I wouldn’t be laughing at Peter, I’d be laughing at his bathroom. Poor Peter, it so isn’t his fault. But bless me in the heavens I should have peed in his bathroom one last time. It would have been a blast. But then I would have been peeing and he would have been sobbing at the door telling me how he had a troubled childhood and his parents didn’t love him enough and saying that without me he will kill himself through the tears and I’d be looking for the toilet paper trying to be as quiet as possible because I wouldn’t want to be disrespectful to the issues he has with his family. Jesus Loving Child Of The Heavens though.

But you want to know what? I’m happy it’s over. Don’t get me wrong, I really loved him, but I loved him more like a woman could love, I don’t know, a pretty flower in a vase on the table in the kitchen, I don’t know. Like a woman would love a pretty dress, I don’t know. I didn’t love him like ‘wow I am so mind-blown right now I wouldn’t know what to do without you’, if you know what I mean.

I bet he’s sitting in his kitchen contemplating masturbation right now: He always said he had this perverted conception of self-pleasuring since his teenage years and his parents sent him to a catholic school and he once whacked-off his friend Mike in the dormitory to try to escape his deep sense of guilt.

Oh wow, now I need to pee I really do.

Damn it! Guys have it easy; They wanna pee, they go and pee at the stalk of a tree. Done. Easy. They pee’d. That’s what Peter would have done. But if a woman, a lady, wants to pee, then it’s a big no. I can’t pee at a tree. And not just because I’m a woman and I wouldn’t do it, but because Jesus Son Of The Immaculate Virgin, imagine myself peeing at a tree. Eeeww that’s so gross. And let’s be fair, even if I would do that, there are literally no trees at the sides of the highway. Fucking desert fucking fuck fuck fuck I need to pee.

Hold up. Is that a gas station? It’s a motel! Yes thank God In The Skies! It’s a Motel and it says ‘Vacant‘.



That’s what the Motel says, you know? It says vacant. ‘Rooms Available’, it says, you know?

I have never seen the desert before, but I know I don’t want to go out there. I never will want to go out there. Some people do, some people love it, you know? But I don’t think I would like it: I have never been to the desert when I was living in New York, and I don’t see why should I go to the desert now that my dad is moving to L.A.

I like to be on the road though. Everything else outside seem so far, and I feel very safe in my dad’s car.

“Are you hungry Catherine?” my dad asks while looking straight at the long black road ahead. I say no thank you because I have eaten a toast this morning and I am still full.

The desert outside our car looks so big. A big nothing that is vacant, like the motel that flashed by a few minutes ago. My dad is moving to L.A because he has been offered a job at one of those big movie studios and he is going to write famous films with famous and beautiful actresses, you know? I think my dad knows Meryl Streep, too!

She is so beautiful when I see her at the movie.

“Catherine? Are you hungry?” My dad asks again because he probably did not hear me before. I say no thank you, I am still full after the toast I’ve had this morning, thank you daddy.

My mom doesn’t think Meryl Streep is beautiful. She used to say that she didn’t like her a bit. I think that’s why she decided to stay in New York, because she doesn’t like cinema, you know? The desert is so so so big outside. She writes too, my mom. I don’t know what she writes, but I think she is a writer. She often goes to Europe. I have never been to Europe, but I hope is not as vacant as the desert.


I broke up with Robert H. Robert.

I never loved him. I really never did. We just had this intense sexual understanding, but can it pass for love, these days? I liked his paintings and I liked his car. Considering that’s the car I am driving now, I’ve had it good, didn’t I? ARobert H. Robert. He’ll wake up and I’ll have left. Fuck it, Robert H. Robert, you’ve had it good too. You and your little brown paper wrappers, you’ve had it good too you did.


That’s what’s written on the sign of that motel, it says ‘vacant’. ‘Rooms Available’.

How appropriate; Everything seems vacant at the sides of the motorway. If I were out there, in the desert, I would probably seem vacant too.

I would look like a quick sketch of a person for the people who speed through Route 66. I’d seem vacant too.

I always liked this car, and here I am now, driving through the Arizona desert! Woooo! I scream of joy I am free!

Robert H. Robert told me I should try to become an actress because I am good at drinking and I’m better at fucking.

Fuck it, Robert H. Robert, I am going to L.A and I am becoming a beautiful and rich actress. Viva Las Vegas, Robert H. Robert.

I had this fear of leaving him. I was afraid I would miss him, and I was afraid of missing his brown paper wrappers, his wonderful love potions.

The wind on my face feels good, I really like this car, I should have done it earlier. I bet he will miss this car, you know? But fuck it, too late.

I am free to do whatever I always wanted wooo! I scream again at the still sound of the desert. No more holding me down, Robert H. Robert I am free now my hair billows in the wild wind of Route 66 and there are no regrets and no love potions. No fears and no magic powders, Robert H. Robert: I am free now.

Photography by Glenda Goldschmied – Copyright of Glenda Goldschmied

See more of her travel photography on her travelogue, ROAMING.

Words by Matteo Sarti