In order to make sure my birthday wouldn’t blend indistinguishably into every other work day, I climbed a small mountain in the dark with a bag and a bivysac and slept up there. It was just unseasonal enough to be a slightly ridiculous endeavour for a weeknight, and therefore memorable.
Last year I spent the night on a raft adrift on a small lake, and that worked. I remember that birthday. A fantastic evening. Kind of set the tone for the whole year, actually.
There was a point, though, when I was waist deep in freezing water in the dark with my feet that I could no longer feel sucking menacingly into the mud, wresting the raft out of the year’s logjam/jetsam into open water with great difficulty, fish fleeing out of their winter’s refuge around my legs, teeth chattering around laughter, when I thought it would probably go pretty badly if someone chanced on me right then. *static crackles- crrsk* Crazy person in the lake; approach with extreme caution *crrrk* No one did.
Those are the best times, though, when you’re stuck someplace ridiculous, but still very dangerous, one slip, ankle twist or a blow to the head away from some ignominious accident, when you think, Okay, there is no possible room for failure here, because dying or maiming oneself when you’re up to something this silly just will not bear explanation. So you end up laughing, shaking with laughter at the sad absurdity of where you got yourself stuck, clinging desperately to a rock in the middle of a slide (for instance), thinking of the tourist we were mocking just last week who had to get plucked out of the same predicament with a helicopter. Perhaps that’s the wrong pronoun all over that paragraph; I end up snickering maniacally while clinging to a rock, or tearing my abs in the effort to right myself in a treewell (for instance).
Continue reading In other words, Mom can’t relax yet