Thursday, January 12, 2017

Altitude Sickness (8/2009)

My head hurts, up this high. Its only 6200 feet tonight and I'm headed further up tomorrow, but still, its dry, its high, my skin feels tight around my face, my voice is cracking and my head hurts. But Colorado calls every August and I come here beckoned. A yearly pilgrimage. Today I was thinking about a few years back, same time, a random meeting, or re-meeting, rather, of an old friend. Someone who'd disappeared and then showed up, leaning against a wall, a smirkish smile, arms crossed, looking still like a kid, but older, greyer, more life and more lines in his eyes. Beautiful, tired and unsure. And I was thinking of this old friend's fearlessness back then, perhaps foolishness, perhaps blindness, but call it what I will, whatever it was, his audacity was exciting and tempting and impossible and as crazy as Frank carrying the cross from Maine to Mexico. I leaned into it for a few days, a little while, then shook it off like a deja vu.  He's gone again, disappeared into another crack in the mountains I think, running a river or running a hill or maybe he stopped running things and maybe he's eating dinner with someone he loves, a life he ran after.  I started this blog not knowing what I was going to write about, but the fingers felt itchy to type, up here in the thin air. But I knew what I was thinking of and it wasn't this lost friend. It was something else, but now that this memory has elbowed its way in front of the other I can almost see why. He's a haunting, wisping through the movie running currently in my head. I am being oblique here. Running around my own foolishness and audacity, blind and wonderful.  I wonder if the boy who leaned will come back in 10 years, just to lean in the back corner of a theater I'm playing, with a boy next to him. I wonder if there's a reason for people to show up unsuspecting in our lives, to tempt or lead or illuminate. I'm not a woman of faith or fate. I'm a woman of concrete evidence.  But lean against a door that falls open and how are you not supposed to walk through, curious. Of course, Pandora probably asked the same question and see where it led her. 

This could all be a dizzying lightheaded dream. Or that could have been. 

Sarah Carter was in Mexico, working at a radio station, and sang a song that was heard in northern California. Someone came running who heard it. Years later. 

I have no intention of singing that song or looking to go backwards. I wrote of loneliness lately and there's an antithesis here between the thin air of memory and the heaviness of lonely. I'm just curious about the last page of the story.

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