Drinking Rock Water

  We huddled around the puddle.   It was sunny, desert rays reddening my cheeks and exposing my freckles. It didn’t matter that it was December, Joshua Tree still blazed with heat by midday. The rock formations and mountains, despite their exhausting and incredibly dangerous climbs, offered a soul-quenching breeze that lifted the hairs on my neck and dried the sweat beneath my flannel.   I’d traveled across country, Florida to California, with a group of friends. Two of them,…