Altitude Sickness

December 15, 2000


I feel as though I threw you away. Up in the clouds on a clear night with the brilliantly bright full moon providing us with the opportunity to save our batteries, I felt compelled to step across the boundary and say aloud for the first time the words I never had the courage to speak. She talked to him and I talked to her and he talked to them, but the source for my truth was you. I feel as though you can’t look me in the eye ever since I spoke my mind in the red canyons that July with only the whispering of the pines to disrupt our private line. I wish I had the ability, I wish I had the ability, I wish I had the ability to run.

Do you know what this reminds me of? I’ve never liked attending family functions because I never really feel a part of the family. Creeping across the room, giving hugs to complete strangers and playing bible games that will expose my religious ignorance leaves my stomach in knots, or maybe it was the cheese. Everybody else’s house is so much better than mine. Their kids behave and their dogs obey. Their floors are swept and their windows clean, their gardens in bloom and their neighbors all wave. I’m glad to be back home, but the electricity is out and the flame from the candle is dimly flickering my only source of light. Do you know what this reminds me of? When my mood weighs more than my body, I prescribe myself music yet among silence I sit resorting to the next best thing: writing. I’ve been neglecting this book for one excuse or another but tonight I think I’m ready to talk about something, or nothing, or this… (There are voices in the other room, I recognize from who is whom, but do not join, I’m impolite, for talk is slow in candlelight). Here’s a topic that has been over discussed, but in the presence of absence a closing statement is arbitrary for this is one of those conversations that can really have no conclusion. If it were possible to drive back up to that highest peak for the first time again and experience the feelings of fear, exhilaration, and tranquility that almost got us killed, perhaps we would have taken another road. It is true what they say about the future being a gradual occurrence, and most of the time it goes by unnoticed. I sometimes find it difficult to look you in the eye now for I know where we have been and I’m still denying that this is where we have ended up. Never did I think the day would come when you declined the chance to come along with me and dabble in the simplest form of perfection, but there I was back in that wonderful state with her natural beauty smiling at me from all directions wondering if you had ever existed at all. The rest of the psychotic world is pronounced foreign in the tucked away creases of an uninhibited goldmine. Get a grip. Remove yourself from the community portrait. Find the ability to run, or walk, or skip, or crawl, but whatever you do, don’t get sucked in. Tonight, the air outside is cooler than my summer stay in the mountains, which is actually saying a lot for this city whose blueprint is Hell. This reminds me exactly of the time we almost found a way out.

Author: Lindsay Niemann

Writer | Graphic Artist