Aug 172011

Catching up with lost time, the scraggy barefaced trail along that rocky patch of the Upper Yosemite Falls starts to churn beneath my sneakers like hourglass sands in a bad dream. The florid human sight of others pacing back down the trail, down the tough cliff, with their proud relaxed shoulders-back bearing becomes intolerable to my sweaty sense of a race that I am losing one slo-mo stride at a time. What handholds I reach bite my fingertips with ragged sandstone. Leaves titter gaily in the dark foliage, loving the bright beacon of the sun, that searing bullet aimed by the gun of the cosmos at the back of my neck. Ants are decamping all along my spine, marching on stilts of whittled toothpicks as they sing in fierce camaraderie. And still my heart pounds out the remorseless rhetoric of loss: lost time, lost chances, forgotten loves floating up miragelike, unreachable then, impossible to contemplate now without exquisite pain. Time is against me. I’ll never hit the snowline before nightfall, my pockets will be empty. The falls, which I have crawled all this way to visit in their garish interplay of light, will stumble down the cliff invisibly all night, drunkenly determined to get to the bottom of something. The rainbow everyone talks about, jumping out like a lucky leprechaun from an odd, rare dome of snow and ice at mid-falls, and that hand-sized postcards offer so faithfully in miniature, will have vanished, my luck run out. No moon is due until late, late. Too late, I have started out on this journey in life. Too late, I think; my body knows it is too late. No one will read this. No children will succeed me or venerate my name.

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