i grew up watching x files. at a young impressionable age, i had already decided that clearly aliens were among us, the governments was covering it up because the general public couldn't handle the truth, and most importantly, there was a lot of classified shit going down in the california deserts. though i largely still believe most of that, age has tempered the mystery and wonder conspiracy theories used to hold for me. perhaps it's the glut of alien movies i have consumed in the intervening years. or the steady diet of trek. but it all feels pretty blase. aliens, cigarette man, fbi. next.
yet, when i do have occastion to drive through some of the real places that have inspired the fiction, i find they still hold a powerful sense of the unknown. windmills en route to palm springs are particularly iconic. they have a foreboding, sentient quality, as they remain perched en masse, just watching the towns and passers by below. they may be a blight on the landscape, but after all this time, to me, they have come to embody it and exemplify the isolation of the desert.
i want to believe.