A Wonderful Evening + Random ImagesSubmitted by monkeyswithguns at 2009-07-21 12:00:08 EDT
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It was dusk when I left her house on a cool November night. My first year away from the family home, I’d eaten Thanksgiving dinner with my current girlfriend’s family,which was extremely awkward. She was a 17 year old junkie, but she hid it well, and I was 20 years old and couldn’t hide shit if I wanted to, but I didn’t care either, so that really doesn’t matter. We had dated for 2 weeks. Where the logic that I should eat dinner with her parents on Thanksgiving came from, only she could tell you.
I had just dropped her off at her friend’s house, drank a White Russian with them, and I was off back to my place to get high and oblivious to the world, but instead I took a detour.
I drove up Skyline Drive, around the curving roads, in pitch black darkness. I didn’t know why I was headed there, but I did know where I was headed. I’d always liked Raven’s Roost. It was a beautiful view on a clear day, and at night the stars shone like diamonds above the clouds.
I pulled up to the viewpoint, parked my car, and walked up to the stone wall that divided the “safe” zone from the “past this point you fall off and die” zone. I stood there smoking cigarettes; these fat, unfiltered, hand-rolled monstrosities that probably contained as much ash, cat hair, and pure tar as they had shitty, twice smoked tobacco.
I didn’t just pull up there to smoke shitty cigarettes and enjoy the night air, I was thinking the entire time, why do I need her? What does she provide that I can’t either buy cheaper or provide for myself?
I thought about this kind of crap that everyone thinks about at some point or several in their lives, and while I was thinking I suddenly became aware that I was existing in complete silence. Like a vacuum if you will.
Not everyone is aware of it, but once you get past a certain altitude, or maybe it has something to do with the remoteness, I’m not sure why, but when you’re on top of a mountain, if there are no modern contraptions like cars, bikes, or chatty assholes milling about, you’ll find yourself in complete silence, silence that is un-nerving and to the human mind, un-natural. At the same time, it’s calming, and almost magical.
I flicked the shitty cigarette over the stone wall, and it made no noise as it vanished.
I decided that I indeed did not need her, and that was the end of that. I lit up another shitty cigarette, this time half full with herb also, and walked around to the edge of the wall.
The moon was half-full, so I could see pretty well, and as I got around the corner, I noticed with awe that the entire point off the ledge was one giant cloud. If I’d been much more intoxicated, I may have tried to walk off onto it, because it looked like a giant gray/white parking lot. I’m sure many of you would have enjoyed that, but it was not meant to be, so you types can just fuck off and die.
I sat there on the ledge, my upper parts in plain view, and my ankles invisible in a sea of fog. Since I’d decided that I didn’t need her anymore, I figured I may as well begin doing for myself those things that she normally “handled.” It was dead silent in that mountain fog, so I could hear a car miles away before it arrived, so what the hell, I whipped it out and went to work on myself like a North Korean in a sweatshop. It was serious business, I’m telling ya.
I finished up with my own triumphal arch into the sea of clouds, carefully backed up against the wall, and just leaned back and took in the view for another few minutes before driving back home and crashing for the night. The entire experience could only be properly defined as freedom.
The next morning, I decided that first thing, I’m taking her shit back to her and cutting that dead horse loose, so I drive over, oblige her and let her vent her psychotic rage at me, then get back in my car, smile, and drive off. As I neared the mountain peaks, I decided to go for a hike down some mountain paths. I’d just cut loose my chains of bondage, I was free to do what I pleased, and some fresh air couldn’t possibly have hurt.
I drove down the curves as I had the night before, and as I passed Raven’s Roost, I noticed an ambulance, state trooper and some other vehicles all gathered together. I kept driving, then turned around at the next overlook and drove back. I got there and immediately was told by the trooper that I wasn’t allowed at this viewpoint today. So I ask the inevitable question, why?
It turns out some climbers had decided to get out first thing that morning and go for a quick “free-solo” climb. The cliff itself isn’t so very high that it’s mind-boggling, but it is a fucking mountain all the same. In “free-solo” climbing, the climbers, through desire of an adrenaline rush, but more likely stupidity confused with bravery, climb with only hands and feet, with no protective equipment. No ropes, no helmets, just hands and rocks. The first had gotten nearly to the top, and was reaching for the last hold before he could victoriously lean back, just as I had the night before, and take pleasure in his accomplishment.
His friend said that at the moment of glory, his best friend suddenly exclaimed loudly, “What the fuck...,” put his hand to his face, and fell backward. He plummeted to the bottom which they were now lifting his body from.
I drove home and laughed the whole way.
IN CONCLUSION: This post began as an anecdote, but somewhere along the way, I just decided that not every story in my life is interesting enough to write about, and so I decided to make up the remainder.
This doesn’t necessarily make the post more interesting, but it is what it is, and I will not say where fact ended and fiction began.
I was trying to find a good cliffhanger picture, but I found these instead..JPG