Xander Harris gazed out the window. The sky was a pinkish amber, alit with the radiant glow of the setting sun. It cast a light out upon the Sunnydale landscape, illuminating the grass and the trees and the houses with the same rosy light. He opened the back door and left the house, feet crunching on bits of gravel scattered on the concrete walk. The lawn here was old, worn. What little grass was scattered about was yellow and dead.
This didn’t matter to Xander. He wasn’t after the grass. There was no reward in it. Grass, he had always thought, wasn’t even worth all that much. It was soft, sure, and nice to look at sometimes. Mostly, though, it existed to cover up dirt. And Xander did not understand that. Why cover dirt? It was what he was after. Soft, loose, dusty, moist, brown, coating the Earth in its chunky glory. Grass was simply a barrier.
Xander looked down at the dirt, only barely blocked by the grass and a few dying weeds. It was everything he had ever loved about it. He turned and stared in awe at his soft, undefined footprints left in the soil behind him as though the ground’s fuzzy memory of his adolescent foot. Slowly, he kneeled. At his knees, he felt the familiar rough sensation of a earthy cushion mingled with gravel and refuse. It was harsh, but also in its way welcoming. It did hide the ugly of the dirt, but it made sure to tell him about all the good that it could offer him.
The sun was but a faint imprint of light on the horizon as Xander placed a deliberate palm upon the dirt. He felt the prick of those same pebbles piercing into his hand, but paid it no heed. The pain of dirt could never hope to rival its pleasures.
His other hand fell, faster, clumsier than the first. It rubbed the dirt a bit as it slid on the ground, leaving a fingers-shaped trail of what once had been. He was now staring straight down at the Earth, tantalizingly close. His elbows shuddered in a mix of trepidation and trembling ecstasy as they bent to bring him ever closer to his one truest of loves. He was so close now… He could almost kiss it. Almost. Almost was not close enough.
He lifted his left knee and pushed it back, then the right. Now he was prone on the ground, elbows skyward, with nearly nothing between him and his dearest dirt. Why, practically nothing at all, save for his clothes. Quickly, Xander licked the cool earth, feeling its crumbly moisture move around his tongue. Then, he took a bite out of it, as though this mighty planet, cradle of humankind, were but an apple to his pleasure. The dirt in his mouth was not tasty, yet it was a satisfying feeling to hold it inside his gluttonous cavern.
Unable to wait a moment longer and yet unwilling to separate himself from what he held most dear for even so much as a second, he slid off his shirt, pulling at the collar with his hands. It lay on the ground just above his head now, a monument to passion. As it flopped against the ground it seemed to be enjoying the dirt just as much as Xander, were that even possible.
Xander himself was relishing the sweet delight of the dirt’s cold embrace. He revelled, like one of the satyrs of old Greek legend, in the dirt. The dirt was his, and he was the dirt’s. For the briefest of times, that was all that was: Xander Harris, the cosmic speck of the Earth, a single, discarded shirt, and the frenzy of purest lust. He felt it in his mouth, upon his face. He anointed himself in it as though it were the oil of sweetest Lavender. Then, again, it was not enough.
He slid down his pants, his sweaty boxers, until he was prone and nude upon the ground. This was the blessed union of Man and Earth he craved. There was naught but him, naught but the dirt. Like the worms that riddled that with which he was enamored, he writhed-- How he writhed! The dirt, in its ancient, stoic way, danced with him. His movements deformed it, shaped it, leaving lines and then erasing them just as quickly. He could not leave a simple ridge or divot without his next jubilant spasm metamorphosing it into another grainy shape. Without him, it was lifeless. With him, it came alive.
Xander awoke to the feeling of a spider upon his right buttock. He had fallen asleep in the midst of his revelry, and was now a sad, nude man lying on the ground. As he stood up, dressing quickly, clumps of dirt fell off of him, and he watched them hit the land from whence they came with a sense of melancholy. If only, oh, if only, he could take that dirt, have the dirt be one with him, as he slogged through the mundanity of existence. He took some small comfort in the fact that some of it streaked his bare and surprisingly muscular chest.
He walked inside, quickly and quietly making his way to his bedroom, where he checked the clock next to his bed. That blessed spider, creature of his one true love, had awoken him with ample time to spare. He showered, wincing as the water cleansed him of the only joy in this mortal plane. He found clean clothes and put them on, wishing all the while that wearing clothes caked with crumbling loam was considered in any way socially acceptable.
Unfortunately, nobody understood him for who he was. These poor, shallow people- they were still having their silly affairs with other humans. Their relationships were a mere sham compared to Xander’s enlightened amor terrae. People died. They changed. They left you. They were hurt when you forgot them and didn’t hesitate to forget you. Dirt was eternal. Dirt was static. It could not forget, for it could never remember. It could not die, for it was the essence of death. It could not hurt, for it was passivity incarnate. His love for the dirt was the only logical love a man had ever felt, yet it was laughed at.
Regardless, life goes on, and so Xander walked out of his house on that warm fall morning. He started on the sidewalk, but as usual, pure desire overcame him and he found himself running on the dirt, his feet imprinting his love unto his beloved with every powerful stride. He felt it squish under his feet, and it was joyous. He knew his feet were becoming covered with the object of his desire, the only dirt that was acceptable to carry with him. As he went about his day, the brown crust on his shoes were to him like a locket with a photograph of one’s love.
He walked towards the school, feeling the dirt give way to concrete and then to the soul-draining linoleum of the modern school. Xander bore no love in his soul for this linoleum. He could not deny it made him think about sex, but then, he was seventeen. And that was really the only strength that could be ascribed to it. It was hard, it was cold, it was dirtless. What business, he wondered, does the ground have being dirtless? It has one purpose. Why create ground that cannot fulfill that one simple purpose? As he turned the corner towards his locker, he felt as though the people who designed public school buildings simply didn’t want him to be able to feast his eyes on the ultimate beauty as he learned.
He stopped. Surely… But when he turned, it was as he had thought. There were the soggy brown footprints. And at the end, a remarkable figure- easily six feet tall. His shoulders were as broad as Heaven’s great vault, stretching above Xander as he slept. Muscular, tall, and dirty. Xander ran towards him. It seemed impossible, and yet it was- a boy- a man- made of dirt! Sensual, soft, wondrous dirt! Nature’s glory in its purest form, shaped into a man of equal glory! Xander felt dizzy. This was what he dreamed of. He had thought dirt was his love, but no. It was this which Xander’s amorous attractions were immediately drawn to. His love had been ended with simple dirt. Now dirtboy was his true love.