6| Chapter 4:
The Dirtbiker’s Trail: Rockstacks
The Suited Man Chills
A smash and grab up a dirty hill poked with chipmunk holes. A hard right banged, a three-foot boulder summitted. Apexed, that is. Moss grows from between the cracks in the crag. Where the dirt hides.
The boulder staircases down, the path takes control. Tree roots hold the silt in place. A straightaway until you walk it and experience the latent curvature; the head of one tree long fallen, the foot of another. A symbolic Gateway.
The path hooks right and climbs a hill lined with adolescent saplings. It bends to the will of the boulders, the stones, the namesake of Stonetown, and traverses a massive stone of a puddinglike hue. But not a puddingstone; this is not a purple, nor a pink, nor is it studded with quatrtz stones. It is simply mighty, and it catches the light just right.
A left bend off the puddingless stone. A harder bend down a rockslide, circumnavigating the TreeBridge Pass. A ceramic wax melter protrudes from atop the rock, black with blue flowers crudely painted on the side. A schoolchild’s art project. Left in the woods.
A rockstack, two strong, one verto and a horry.
The hug is tight then loosens, then tightens once more at the clench of the curve. The path climbs a small hill and falls back down. A tight S bend and to my left is the Summer Stroll East. The S is scribed and I climb the rocks – Raspberry Perch on a warm winter morn’.
The view is not impressive; with the trees dormant, Board can be seen prim. My mountain. My destination. The Boardtrip. Mother. I’ve escaped you, Mother. I’ve escaped.
In the summertime, vines adorned with red and black raspberries crawl and creep up the face of the Perch.
I’m never going back.
Today, the suited man chills where a deer once bedded before it was spooked by a maned man.
I fall to my ass and scoot backwards on the rock.
“Took you long enough,” the suited man calls, rustling the pale, dead grass. He appears on the Perch, eyes dark beneath his sunglasses, hair whipping in the wind, smoke flowing from his maw.
“You’ll never have me,” I say, the words stationed beneath my breath. Growled, like the dog before Daisy’s father paid a visit. A shame indeed, but not for the dog.
“I’ll never have you?” the suited man asks, straightening his posture.
“Never!” I shout, taking to my feet. The keys rustle in my pocket, as does the joint and the fuego. The sweatpants are stained, but I need the mobility. The suited man will not catch the maned man on this day of balmy sixty-eights.
The maned man flees into the forest. The suited man pursues off the Perch, in the opposite direction. An osprey shrieks in the distance, its cry a haunting spook.
Rocks cut by glaciers to stonehenge precision bridge the Perch to the Path. The mud stretches up a hill and I sprint it in stride. The Lost Colony to my left, TreeBridge Pass to my right. Many woods parties were held at this Colony, clear skies to watch the stars fall. A pit to bury your dead, your drained beercans, that is. I took those beercans out of the ground, exhumed them I did. No, I did, not I did but I did, though the memory is faded like my prowess in cardio. A dead branch snaps beneath my feet. I’ve made her into twigs.
A sharp turn, reversing me one-eighty. I climb boulders and thread through rockstacks, the suited man’s breath choking my brainstem. My medula oblingota, my operating defaults. Another bend, at the meditation tree.
I duck under the tree. The suited man’s laugh crackles on the air. The shortcut is not clear, a game trail weaving trees and dipping through pits.
The game ends when the cut links at the conclusion of the last bend.
To my right an uphill, to my left a moetic tumble. My legs are going fast and true, my footpace’s step, the back entrance to The Commons, the High Planter, the truck driver in the shattered jar. The rock wall borders the Path well. The Low Planter boasts the sign. The metal sign, the metal sign lacking in The. The sign rise from inside the tuft. The second entrance, the first one. The log sprouting orange fungus; at the entrance is the roothead, and she is brained by the pudding stone.
My legs going fast.
My legs going true.
I pass Hillside Commons altogether. The path is rocky, but the soil is packed tight otherwise. I rebound off trees, ricochet off rocks, snake the short S bend with the rockstack zero strong and toppled by windgust.
I jump the intersection, flying on wax wings. The Unmarked Trail plays umpire.