Imaginary Vacation Scenario #4
You have a headlamp and a knapsack of buffalo jerky. You will hike up the dark mountain into the darker pine, you will pitch your tent below a sky as thick with stars as the air is thin. You are the only human for miles, and this knowledge just makes your legs stronger, your lungs more capacious. You know how to skin a rabbit. You know how to scare off a bear. The sea-level land you’ve left behind glows radioactive and wants to know your mother’s maiden name, your preferred birth control method, your views on organic milk and GMOS. Here, your brain space is filled with field knowledge: how to calculate distance between you and the coyote’s mournful yip; the proper way to eat the pith of fireweed. You know snakes can still bite hours after they’ve died. The animals call and call, their voices echoing through the rattling aspen. You don’t answer because they’re not calling you. You keep climbing. With each step, the mountain grows and for this you love it more. You will never reach the top. There is no top, it spills upward and out forever. You could climb forever. You will climb forever.