The Cosmic Sucker : a short story 



A short-story by Pietro Reviglio

The universe... the desert... the fight against the machine... art and science intertwine in this autobiographical short-story  on how a crazy night in the desert can change your life for good. 




          Sometimes change in life happens slowly over time and you find  yourself  drifting  almost unconsciously in directions you would have never imagined before. Some other times instead, you can pinpoint the place, the day and even the hours when your new life began.
          For me it was Kitt Peak, Arizona, a night of May 2005.
          I had never been in the desert on my own before. It felt like real adventure...  just me, the telescope and the universe.  No friends, no colleagues, not even a pet  to keep me company during the long sleepless nights I had ahead of me.  
           I had left New York on a dull, cloudy morning to find myself hours later  in the hot sunny weather of Arizona. Dry air, no rain, no haze: the perfect weather to peep into the secrets of the universe... the kind of weather astronomers would kill for... literally.
           The man  who picked me up at the airport to drive me into the mountains was an affable man from the West with white mustaches  and  a rifle in the back of his pickup: the kind of man that has lived in the desert most of his life... the kind of man that you hope has remained sane after all those years and won't use that rifle against you at any point during the car ride. Or after.
           On our way up,  the valley looked bare and thirsty. Only cacti and rocks under a scorching sun. Not a breath of air. Not a living soul in sight: no coyotes, no roadrunners, no mirages... just an occasional driver on the road to the mountain top. 
            As we proceeded through the desert [...]



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