RICE, CALIFORNIA

2/28/3021

East of 29 Palms Marine Training Base, on Highway 62 lies a husk of a town whose history died with its occupants. Lying on the north side of the highway are numerous abandoned railroad cars with enough artwork on their surfaces to start a museum. On the other side is the sole remainder of what used to be a filling station: the canopy over the pumps. Hung from the roof are hundreds of pairs of shoes from travelers of all descriptions that beacons a WTF reaction. Somewhere in this memorial’s past lies some interesting history. A tamarisk tree that once stood in the area was adorned with a collection of human underwear. This usually suggests a celebration of conquest where the female, who gives up her body, leaves her underwear behind in her male selection’s vehicle, so as to entice him to return. The male, upon discovering it, is proud of his sexual behavior but realizes this will spell trouble with his better half if she finds the “dainties.” So, it was displayed on this lone tree, along with his own soiled shorts to boast of his prowess. In time, the contents grew as others followed suit, installing other items, such as shoes. This location became a legend, and such sin sites work on the bitterness of religions or sexually rejected humans; thus, it needed to be destroyed. Fire was the cleansing agent and by the early 21st century, the pagan idol was burned flush to the ground. This action prompted those who saw a camaraderie in that signpost to rebuild. A fence soon became the hitching post to hang a pair of shoes on, and in under 2 decades, the barrier displays 1,000’s of shoes. They silently tell the stories of many people who passed this way as they jettisoned either their own, or a deceased loved one’s, pair. The dead town is trampled by a million untold stories in those leather “books.” The good news is that this new memorial will not piss off the prudes who hate, and the hanging leather material carries a fire-retardant chemical, promising a long future.

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