Updated: Sep 4, 2021
I thought the first one would be easiest. It wasn’t. Not even close. The easiest step was an accident. And years since the first.
And it was wrought by the only thing more dense and impenetrable and ominous than jungle: the dirt and rock and ice that erupted immediate and vertical and eternal and immense and motionless as nothing and daunting as fuck before me: the mountain.
I stumbled back a step when I saw it. That was the easiest one. And the lightest. Jungle had torn all from me but rags.
It’s been as long now since the easiest step as the easiest was from the first. But others have joined me here. And have since been taught to be, each by the other, masters of our severe environs. Enough even to create and craft and tool and replenish all we had lost in the dark clutches of its thieving crucible, and more, in fact.
There’s no way up it, of course, no matter how many implements we can all together carry. The great riddle, we all then know, is how to get ‘round it. And only who’ve surmounted jungle have mettle enough. Close as brothers and well equipped, our camp is strong now here. We’ve only ever lost but one. It still pains me.
He stayed for but a night. Seemed almost put off by our welcome invitation and our grave initiation the evening he came in. And by the morning light was gone as ghost. We found but all left of his kit and rags at the base of the cruel mountain and a scrawling in the dirt: “the obstacle is the way.”
Seems the poor damn fool tried to climb it. He betrayed us all. Poor stupid wretched fuck.