Our hero begins the ragged process of settling in to Alzheimer’s Canyon, apparently his new residence.
Thanks to his invisible guide, Dusty, he has a name now… X…short for X, the Explorer. As well as a few basic supplies, like underwear, clothes and food.
And, he is finally rid of his unfortunate first fashion statement in Alzheimer’s Canyon, the adult diapers supplied by the Shady Way Home.
As the darkness deepens, X notices new sounds drifting up from the valley. You might call it a howling, or maybe a groaning.
“Dusty, what is that?”
“Ha! I think I might be right about you after all, my brother, X. Y’all got some good instincts, boy! I didn’t even have to knock you upside the head to be listening, and you HEARD.”
“Yeah, but heard what, though? Is that a made-by-human noise or…or….what?”
“Let me guess, X. Ah reckon y’all never heard anything like that before.”
“You right there, Mr. Dusty. And I can’t say as I mind missing out…whatever they doin’ is some Spooky shit !!”
“They just doin’ their thing is all. Moanin’, groanin’, whatever. They be Sundowners doing their Sundowning thing. Won't never hurt nobody.”
“Sundowners -- that sounds like the band that played their three chords at my high-school Junior Prom. These ones know a bit more about music, I’m guessing. Still, I’m glad they’re down there, and we’re up here. Sundowners -- that mean something, Mr. Dusty?”
“Wahl, it must to them, cuz they doing it whenever that sun goin’ down, or up. Man, you got a whole lot to learn! You probably don’t even see the lights, neither.”
“Lights? Wait! What? Those white balloon thingies down there?”
“X, I’m trying to help y’all here, I really am. But you gotta hep yo own side too. I will tell you again…. but not many more times…..Pay Attention, Now!! If you don’t know what’s goin’ on, then you gotta pay extra attention, X. I don’t want to lose y’all down here, little buddy.”
And with that, Dusty pokes the fire one last time. Embers drift lazily. The Sundowners are calming themselves. A sparkling night settles over the seemingly endless Canyon.
“Thanks for keeping me alive.”
“Thanks to you, this’ll be a day to remember always!”
“Good luck with that one, pal.” Dusty murmurs.