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Wednesday
May182011

Not a Mirage: Bob Dylan in the Desert

When you exit a highly air-conditioned building into desert heat, you can feel your skeleton harden. The warmth envelops you, leaching the coolness from your clothes. It works its way inwardly layer-by layer with every step—until the heat of your jacket meets the cool of your shirt. And then the heat of your shirt meets the cool of your skin. And then the heat of your skin makes everything inside you boil. At that point, all that's keeping you together are your bones, which feel like iron. I felt this today, and then there he was: Bob Dylan.

I could have swore he was a mirage, looking discreet against a large beige wall. He was unmistakable though. The hair, the glance, the word "legend" scribbled beneath him. The giddiness that enveloped me rivaled the heat that made me gasp. I couldn't and still can't tell whether my excitement derived from Bob Dylan, or from the fact that his presense enshrined in two-tone, spraypainted stencil meant that Kuwait—despite the cultural void it projects like a fever into the emptiness of the Arabian Peninsula—did maintain a little cool after all

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