"There used t'be bridges across the river," the old man said, nodding towards rotting pylons. "But not any more. We don' mix with th' folk across the river."
He exhaled smoke, holding the cigarette with his lips.
"Th' desert and the mountains don' mix."
He pulled on the oars, the wood groaned as it created eddies in the brown slow moving water.
"You remember tha' boy. You might think livin' in the desert is hard, going to the mountains to work, get ahead in life."
He looked expectantly at me, and I nodded quickly.
"Tha's all fine and well, but you just remember, you meet some pretty girlie over there, you leave her be. You don't be long with her, you won't ever be able to live in the mountains, an' she'll wither away in th' desert."
I could see mountains rising up ahead of me. The old man looked back on the desert that we had