10| Chapter 7:
Mountain Trail Part 2: The Climb
My tongue is petrified cactus, a prickly pear banished to winter. A suited man chasing a mane up a mountain.
The leaves are slick, my forehead kisses the Board.
Pudding stones emerge from the soil like infernal blasphemes, ripe for the sin.
The soil is packed tight.
My tongue is an arid cactus. Fallen trees anacondas, their tongue searches for the Frog Rock.
The first quarter down, grass sprout from moss like meadow.
I pause to bellow a mighty WHOOP.
I go answered by The Climb.
A zig where I will zig.
One zags upon the gaz.
The meadow is a clearing, a bleeding dead zone for all trees. A leafblown patch of mound, a crop circle in the sticks. The leaves are drier up here than they are at the base; the rocks petrified landslides. I climb them with clout; to call the devil’s bluff.
The suited man laughs in my ear.
I turn and there’s nobody there.
The moss drinks the water so the weeping rocks may starve; my legs carry hindered, the joint craving spark.
Quartz shines pale from every rock, from every stone I look.
A mudslide wrecks the path beneath the first outcrop. The wind wax poetic as it rustles I’s hair.
I cannot stop now. The suited man follows.
Green lichen paint on purple bedrock stares glistened from halfway up the mount’. Perhaps a moment to take myself a sit – there’s a holey balloon in a tree.
My footfall returns to the forest.
Words articulate within my lexicon but perish on the tip of my tongue.
The Climb has stolen my soul.
Ringwood’s quartz winks at me from the muddy loam. The second outcropping, one light leagues smaller.
The path curves level, as if petitioned by horsefolk, and traces the side of Board’s Stonetown ridge. The Wanaque stretches beneath in a mighty gray squall, and the Monksville? Gated back by a dam so concrete.
I see three massive steps to my right. They lead to the high road; in thirteen steps I reach the junction. Lichened colonies color the ruined temples of the ancient tribes of this mount. Rocks shaped by the hands of giants carved into blocks for the build. A triangular monolith, pointing the way to the view.
Board Mountain is climbed. But The Climb beckons me further along. I pass the final outcropping, not a boot set on the rock.
The summit is meadowous, tufts of more grass than rocks. A small rise marks the summit. Thus begins The Descent.
I can feel his presence by the rush of the air.
The maned man sprints down the trail, keeping right at the fork. Past the wilted babe, steppingrocks are stoned and soles prance across grassways. A fallen tree nailed with blazes. He hurdles the corpse, fumbling on the landing.
The outcrops step in stairs. I bank left, soaring over The Big Rock.
An unlit joint blazes no trail through the forest. At last, I see The Gateway; two stones from the henge, one tall and one stout, one with vision to see the valley and one with torso to roam Her. A sign hangs from the tree, a two by eight sawn from the board, woodscorched and pressed and carved like a turkey just to be carried up Board and nailed to a tree.
A board taken from its board marked with strange symbols and carried up Board to be nailed to a tree who sprouts from Her follicles.
The suited man.
I pass through The Gateway, wind ruffling my shirt.