"I dream of a hard and brutal mysticism in which the naked self merges with the nonhuman world and somehow survives...Paradox and bedrock."-Edward Abbey

20 May 2012

Thin Air Seduction

"We dreamed our lives
and we lived our dreams..."-Fury in the Slaughterhouse

We had been seduced by the majesty of pointed geography. As the afternoon imperceptibly sloughed its skin into early evening, we took one last drive through ancient lanes before returning to the grater metroplex once more, beholding grand Victorians and quaint miner's cabins, which were sometimes one and the same. I watched a man walking from his house out to table to take in the mountain evening. In one hand was a book and in the other was tumbler of something brown that surmised was scotch. A pipe dangled from his mouth and a wisp of blue-gray smoke trailed behind him.

I wanted to be like him; getting ready to enjoy a cocktail and a book in a early mountain evening. Envy is not something I generally allow myself to get suckered by because nothing good comes of it. However, in that moment, I'm almost certain my skin turned green because of it.

That house is three doors down from sempi's posh Victorian. I live nearly six-hundred vertical feet up the hill in my own one-and-the-same miner's cabin Victorian. I've never seen that man I so momentarily admired. It's been three and a half years since I stopped smoking, and the last time I caught the scent of such an act upon someone, I found myself wanting to gag, which I found rather interesting; the last visages of junkie want perhaps having shed away. 

It seems so long ago now that it was another life when the kisses and caresses of the thiner air seduced us so. Whether it was fate or tenacity that got us up here is a matter of your bent of superstition, and even when I've been at my most superstitious, I've had a hard time believing in fate. Depending on which of my friends you asked, I either up and went mad-whether it was the type of madness spiced with whimsy or psychosis is conjecture-or was going after something I really wanted, chasing a snake's tail down a rabbit hole and going my own way, and that's just the way I am.

Maybe, here and now, such details cease to matter. Lifetimes have passed and plumage has molted since those days down below. We've made a new life and new memories within our little Sahel. We are no longer that couple that was dreaming and scheming of moving up here, nor are we the couple that pulled it off so quickly. These days, we're the couple that lives in the white and red house with Buddhist prayer flags. She volunteer DJs at the community radio station and I'm on the board of the historical society. Just another couple of tossers that live here, even if I insist I'm a beautiful and unique snowflake.

Although I've never seen that man again, I've had plenty of occasions to be like him. Only taller. Lately, as the days have moved toward anniversary of day we were so seduced, as I've sat out back with a drink and a book, only half-reading because drinking in the sights of pointed geography has not lost its luster, I've thought of him. On occasion, I subconsciously thank him. After all, he was my unintentional hero.


  1. Robbie, this is beautifully written. It seems that you know how to enjoy yourself. :) Hope you'll have a beautiful week.

  2. My dad has an old joke (or maybe it's more of a warning) about the thin mountain air and inevitable madness. I can't remember how it goes, but it seems to me it was funny because it was true. He also argued that nobody ever suffered that sort of madness, but that they enjoyed every crazy second. ;)

    1. One doesn't have to be mad to live here, but, as the cliché goes, it probably helps.

  3. Maybe one day you'll be the envy of a man, one who has spied you sitting outside your Victorian miner's cabin with a book and a drink as you gaze at the mountain peaks in the evening light. Chance or Fate? Does it matter if we find our dreams?

    1. Maybe it doesn't. Although, I tend to sit out back, so if someone spies me, it's either a neighbor or a trespasser.