air is thinner
what does that mean, ‘thinner’
like paper? like me
young, not old
like the veneer on that Ikea table
and not a solid oak desktop
or the air a mile high
– two miles below Kibo hut on Marangu route –
so I couldn’t push on to Kili’s summit
because of the damn jackhammer
the arteries in my head had let in.
still, the view was spectacular
when I could look up between vomits.
some of the others pushed on –
they set foot on Mawenzi, on Uhuru
on the top of the center of the world
and I wondered: what if my feet had taken me there?
would I feel differently today about summits,
about achievement, about seeing the sky?
but then I remember the cloud tops.
the summit? it’s a push, either way.
for Shay’s Fireblossom Friday: Touch of Gray prompt, in the imaginary garden with real toads
In 1987, I didn’t quite make Kilimanjaro’s summit, but did make Kibo hut on the Marangu route, to about 15,500 feet in elevation. No food for 2 days then 1 bowl of tomato soup in, equalled 3 bowls out. Yucky and looked terrible and felt terrible but was actually pretty funny – to the damn Belgian tourist taking photos of me yacking. Damn tourists.