The 13th of July 1992 – Leadville, Colorado

(found taped to the window of a cable car)

Hello Benny,

I’ve been sliding for a while now. Sliding is how I’d put it, not slipping or skiing, just sliding.

I had made it to the peak of this mountain. I made it all the way to the top of it. I stood there, and I looked at the sun and the clouds. They were above me, like always, but they seemed to be so much closer, almost within reach. I stood on a little plateau and I looked over what was below me. I saw the town and the people and the cars, and I saw all those places where I had stood, those places where I had stopped and looked up at this exact peak.

I felt something, up there on the peak. It was the strangest sensation of being completely alone, while being completely surrounded by people. I felt unique and special and still lost in a crowd. I kept rubbing my hand because I felt someone next to me clutching at it, gripping it tight. I swear there was a woman next to me grabbing at my hand and rubbing my shoulder. But whenever I looked, the place was empty. All that was there was the mountain breeze and a little rodent rustling in the bushes.

There I was, unique and special and at the top, but feeling incredibly lost. There I was, with someone next to me and grabbing for my hand, but standing completely alone.

I took a step forward, and I hopped down from that little plateau I was standing on. I landed flat on my butt, and I bounced for a few feet. Then I settled onto the dirt and slid. I slid and slid, sometimes lying flat with stones and gravel digging into my back. I slid and slid, sometimes rolled onto my stomach and clawing desperately with my fingers to keep my place. But I slid and slid. Still I slid and slid.

So I ended up here again, at the base of the mountain. It’s back where I started, I guess, except now I know that reaching such a height is possible. It’s possible, but it’s difficult, and it’s scary, and I’m not sure if it’s worth it. I think I might be better off with the people and the town and their flat and grassy fields. I think I might be better off down here and well out of arm’s reach of the sun and the clouds.

But I really want to get back up on that peak again.

I think I have to.

See you soon,



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