july 11

i let wayne sleep and went outside to eat a mango in the sun and air of the mountains. the cat and the wild columbine were out there with me. 0 to 11 thousand feet in 19 hours! how good it is to be up in the clear-minded air with a horizon like a scribble line of a child. up here i feel closer to truth and the spirits of life.

we're staying with emily, a friend of wayne's, up thru berthoud pass and past several towns with almost zero permenant population where she's working for the summer before a fifteen day tour on greyhound. it's the arapaho national forrest and skiing territory, but mostly it's just beautiful.

today it filled with concert-goers that we could see from the road sitting at the base of a grassy ski slope. being without a real plan, we went to see what the haps were and to do a land-sled run. on the chairlift up we could hear the band down below and the cheers of half-naked people and it all just filled the sunny valley like a sweet drug. the rush came less from the ride and more from seeing a bunch of people together and hitting beachballs around and happy. i wanted to stay the day, but we had it in our minds to go to denver.

now i'd come out to this city with the hopes of suprising alex, a patent-leather mini-skirt-wearing fourteen-year-old the last time i saw her on the italia prima. she was the cute one with the blue eyes that had me completely entranced and i didn't know what to do about it so i just tried to be around her a lot. on the island of santorini we ditched the tour group and went to a black sand beach on the outer edge of the island. we really weren't too far from the ruins where everyone else was taking their pictures, but it felt worlds distant. we were wading barefoot in the cold water and jumping on rocks and being young, seeing what it's like where they don't tell you about, being lost and not caring, not trying to have a certain experience, just living. i shoved a little polished rock into my pocket to remember it all. we sat down and wiped the sand off our feet. as she put on her big heavy shoes i glanced up and saw her pink silk underwear. she met my eyes for a second, and we got up and walked back to the group. we had been unaffraid, innocent. she was amazing to me.

i gave a call to her house but her sister told me she was in texas until tuesday, and how long was i in town, only today, and so tell her chris from the italia prima called. maybe the next time i come thru. something in me sank.

we hit denver via colfax to go thrift shopping. i picked out a white guayavera made in korea and a five dollar wool semi-trench coat and some other shirts that fit some sort of pop aethetic that really isn't mine but's fun.

denver is a mile above reality and hot in the summer. i donned the guayavera and it helped some - air passed through the thin cotton so i didnt' sweat as much. the outskirts of town were pseudo-desert streetside wasteland with people my age shirtless walking from one hushed place to another. i pictured myself living here, or at least drifting for a while. we hit a crazy mexican theme restaurant with a thirty-foot waterfall and an acapulco cliffdiver and pretty good fajitas. after that it was the main commercial street where i gave in and got csny's 4 way street and the hackers soundtrack for mike's birthday. in a little plaza we lay on our backs and stared at the clouds and the distorted reflexions in the skyscaper windows. on the way back to the car we got lost and the city was closing up. it was all so quiet, like everyone was sitting on a bench somewhere squinting their eyes in the sun, or retreating into the mountains or into the restaurants to eat dinner.

we vacated, left the shadowyed cross-streets and went to our valley. emily and i chased the sunset and took pictures, like there was never a prettier one. there was certainly never one exactly like it.

she told us of a waterfall and we hiked to it with our flashlights and sometimes without. she says we should have told someone we were out there. if a black bear attacks, curl up and cover your head. if it's a mountain lion, fight back. when we got there we lay down and listened and let it drown out thought. the ground was cold but we swore we could sleep there.

07.10 | july | 07.18