I am reading David Kranes' Low Tide In The Desert, a collection of Nevada short stories out of UNR press. One is "Life On The Moon." It is about a brilliant but sadly deranged college boy from Tonopah. He goes to college back East and meets a girl from the Eastern Seaboard in his freshman year. They fall in love and he calls her Ondine, a reference to a mermaid. He then has to go back home for the summer, where of course no one understands him. In his letters to Ondine, he says he has gone to the moon. I love this passage.
"The moon is composed as follows. Sixty percent sandstone. Twentyfive percent sand. Seven percent porous white bones (mostly skulls and spines). Three percent bleached lumber. One percent bomb testing sites. One percent casinos and motels. One percent human beings and lizzards. The texture everywhere is like pumice. The topography is pocked and cratered and uneven. There is no Time here. An early probe tried to bring Time to the moon, but it could not survive. Time died. Its remains are in a museum in Reno. School children go and look through the glass at it and have no comprehension. Time is 97 percent water."
Nevada produces some great writers only some of whom are named Laxalt.