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The Wastefull Hylls


 

by Chas Ryder

January 23, 2003

.....she is dusting around the room now, picking up trinkets off the mantelpiece, flicking with her duster and replacing them none too carefully. Any moment now she will disappear out of my line of vision and all I will hear is the chinking of pots on the dressing table. Then I will have no choice but to stare straight ahead out of the window, to see the mountains framed in a brown rectangle like an old master, a still life. But there's the irony, it is me that is the still life now and the mountains that move with their sly intentions. And in that creeping mountain there's one thing - one thing... Thank God that as soon as dusk arrives she draws the black-out curtains and hides it all away.....

.....Mountains first seen define your perceptions of them forever. If first viewed through the early morning haze of May, then you will forever be entranced by their voluptousness, and even when waves of rain pummel their slopes that May memory will always superimpose itself. But what I first saw through a railway carriage window freckled with rain were mountain walls toppling over a dour slate village, clouds oozing as thick as treacle down their sides. Beastly things I thought then and beastly things I think now.

That university jaunt took us fearfully over countless mist shrouded precipices with no prospect save the boots and knapsack of the chap in front, and I vowed never to set foot in the wretched place again. Yet, with the perversity of youth I returned in the Easter vac and tramped joyously day after day, invigorated, revelling in ther solitude, yet always knowing that despite their benign munificence that holiday the true nature of the hills was mean-spirited and menacing.

It did not take long before I became acquainted with the fraternity known as rock-climbers and succumbed to their daredevil companionship.....

.....here she is, back in the room, ignoring me as if I was not here. Perhaps I'm not. Nothing but an empty bed. I have no real evidence of my existence - I think therefore I am? What sort of proof is that? I cannot demonstrate my thinking to anyone else, subjective validation is no...she is at the chest of drawers now, I can hear her opening them. She's going through my things, stealing I expect. Oh heavens, I don't care if she steals the contents of every drawer, there's nothing in there I can ever use again, no clothes I wear except pyjamas, no money I spend, nothing is of any use. But it is just the indignity of knowing someone is invading what remains of my privacy without a by-your-leave.....

.....It rained every day before the war, every time I set hand upon rock the heavens seemed to open. Or is it my memory refracted by time? Time and indolence. It often sleeted as well. , we never had crisp snow falls but that bastardized version, sleet. I can hear our climbs now. Boots crunching up gravel, water gushing downwards to the valley, wind growling outside of the sarcophagus-like confines of all the gullies we ever ascended; ropes dirty and heavy with water, smelling from each rotting sheeps carcass they dragged through. The climbing we did was, in essence, spasmodic, no gentle articulation of physicality just brief flurries of limbs to pass monstrous chockstones that wedged themselves from wall to wall. Then tramp upwards to another spate of inelegant exercise to extracate ourselves from pools, like Excalibur rising over short shattered walls. They were all the same. And it still rained. Wet within and wet without.

.....Has she something tucked under her apron? Another bulge, other than her grotesque flesh? I can't see. Now she's gone, door shutting with the gravity of the tomb.

.....It was a long way away that I first set eyes on it. Four of us, their names I forget, all dead now I'm sure, were resting high on a ridge, our day's climbing completed.Through the cloud of pipe smoke my attention was caught by a bird, a raven I seem to recall. It was some way below us, stroking against the wind, trying to gain height, struggling at every beat, then succumbing to exertion it drifted around the back of the coombe. As I followed its progress further and further into the recess of the deep scoop I saw the crag, its silvery-grey rock in mineral contrast to the green slopes that surrounded it. Two black gully slits defined its outer-edges and were the parenthesis for the most elegant buttress of rock imaginable. For all the world it looked like a long leg stretching out after an eternity of sleep, its graceful rotundity sublime and sleek. With some hesitancy I drew my companions notice to the crag. Knowledgable fellows that they were they named the crag and both its sentinel gullies, one a grand outing by all accounts, the other a scree filled course suitable only for madmen. Emboldened by their replies I enquired as to what was known of the buttress that seperated the aforesaid gullies. I received quizzical looks accompanied by wet suckings on their briars. Then they shook their heads, muttering about verticality and holdlessness, saying, these men of wisdom, gullies were the natural courses of ascent and that it would be unethical let alone heretical to venture out onto the walls where God had never intended man to go. Yet, this simple flow of unblemished granite, clean and symmetrical, had captivated my heart, and that entrapment was the source of all my joy and pain for I know now that from that moment I was doomed, no less than Captain Ahab, to pursue that buttress ceaselessly, to conquer it, or it to conquer me......

.....It has grown dark. The outline of those mountains out there has blended into the sky until there is nothing but one blackness. In here though, the light bulb above me burns bright. She has not drawn the black-out curtains, my window must seem like a beacon for all the enemy bombers buzzing around in the skies above. Come this way it screams, empty your black-egg bombs of fire and shrapnel on that square of light below. I am about to be torn by jagged metal into oblivion. She has done this. She has done this on purpose. She is yet another trying to end my life. Ah, but what would it matter anyway; drift off to death, eaten alive by tumescent cells, blasted by an enemy, strangers to each other, yet another victim of the untidy abortion of war, it all ends the same way, doesn't it?

.....I felt prepared at the fifth re-tying of the rope around my waist, each complex hand movement was a practical repetition that confirmed my security as well as being a symbolic genuflexion, though a very unchristian charm it was. Musgrave and Smith both looked at me with lowered eyes, uncertain of their mandate to be where they were. Feeling guilty, as I had lured them to this spot , the least I could give was a strained smile of reassurance. Behind my back the buttress, so long remembered since I had spied it a season ago, started up from the ground. Upon closer inspection it had revealed itself not to be featureless at all, but a rippled slab leading up to a steepening, an overlap and an unseen two hundred feet above. None the less for this prosaic exposure it still held me in its thrall. I could no more walk away than I could stop my own heart, although my whole body shivered with anxiety. I can only marvel now at my own audacity, if that does not seem too boastful, for I know that I have always been a timid man, and would sooner defer in the face of uncertainty. You see, there was no foreknowledge, nor pioneer to articulate the way. How could I know if holds would reveal themselves after each movement upwards. If they did would I have the courage to use them, if they didn't how could I ever return safely to the ground. Yet I seemed not to be burdened by such contemplations and moving from one hold to the next like a starving man snatching at a trail of crusts, I rapidly gained thirty feet in height. It was at the place where the slab inclined to a steeper plane, that I realised the precariousness of my position. In my right hand I held a curious anvil-shaped protrusion, gripping it tight as if to squeeze out the moisture, my left hand resting on the slab. A blanket of fear began to envelop me, smothering my recent confidence, disconnected thoughts raced higgeldy-piggeldy around my mind giving confusion, created by and creating fear. But they say vibration causes elements to organise themselves and it may be that my calves, standstill at the point of arrival were by then trembling uncontrollably, were the stimulus to the ordering of my faculties, giving me the capacity to stage a cackhanded, backward looking descent, not quite falling off at every step down. Even then as I ingloriously made my way towards the ground, I could almost sense the slim buttress emitting an impulse of victory. Anthromorphic nonsense?I might have said so then but time unfurls a different picture. Such then was my first encounter. We left late under a dusky pink sky, a breeze rattling the sedge spikes in the Moss below. Ghostly Whimbrels rising ahead.....

.....Bomb! Where? No. It is only her, putting down the breakfast tray on the bedside table with such force as to startle me awake. Such indignities I suffer. I can see her now before me, pulling back the curtains. When did she close them? She must have slipped in here whilst I was sleeping. And there they are, those interminable, those insufferable mountains in whose confines it lies. I cannot get away, and though it bides its time I know sooner or later it will do for me. Oh!! The spout of the invalid cup forced between my teeth. Too hot, too hot, I cannot tell her, the scalding liquid resurges out from my lips and cascades down my chin. I am burnt, my mouth, my tongue, my palate are raw and I can say or do nothing. And only one sugar as well.....

.....The war, the Great War, the war to end all wars crashed upon us like a tidal wave over a quiet beach, and we all stared in astonishment as it swept everything away. I had left university by then and spent my new found working hours dreaming of the buttress, planning the intricate manoeuvrers that would see me up the steepened wall above the slab but the plangent call to arms woke me from my dreams. I sailed in 1915 from Folkestone but got no farther than the shores of France, spending three years at Bolougne railway station marshalling more men into France than ever came out. I am not a hero and neither am I proud -'what did you do in the war, Daddy?' I stayed alive. On my first home leave I failed to recruit fellow climbers to join me. The war had not just distracted them, it had driven out of them the spirit to climb. Perhaps climbing is fighting sublimated and they cannot co-exist? So I moped around towns for two weeks. However on my second leave I was fortuitous to come across Musgrave who had recently been discharged from the Royal Flying Corps and was fit for, I almost said battle, to join me below the buttress. Whether it was my poor climbing form or not I cannot say with any certainty but my progress up the slab was pitiful. The rock that had but of late seem to lie back, open itself up for me and allow a kinetic congress, this time was cold and unwelcoming. I was hurt, I had expected so much and there I was rebuffed out of hand. Every foot I laboriously gained opened up a yawning chasm between my frail body and the clamorous boulders below. I was not wanted. Presumptions on the cliff are often rebuked with varying degrees of severity.....

.....I can hear a voice singing 'It's a long way to Tipperary'. Is that me, or her? A sole voice in my head from a time gone by? I rather think not as I hated that song with its sentimental clap-trap, hated it through the last world war and this one and I will hate it through the next if needs be. No, it must be her, playing it on her gramaphone because she knows I loathe it. Diabolic retribution for unpatriotic thoughts? More the trinity of Cawdor witches rolled into one, scheming new tortures as I lay here in my eiderdowned and bolstered coffin.....

.....An early Easter saw me back at the buttress, dunes of old snow lay against the surrounding crags. Though with flesh muffled from the north-easterly wind, my hands in that instant contact with the rock became near useless adjuncts to my limbs. But by dint of beating, thrashing and blowing hot breath upon them I clawed my way up to the anvil-shaped protrusion. Now by this time I had achieved a state of some familiarity with this position and despite the glaciality of the conditions I was resolved to move onwards.

I called down to my second to that effect but in truth there was nothing he could do in the situation except watch my progress with growing consternation. Thrusting my arm upwards like a schoolboy seeking the attention of the master, 'me sir, please sir!' I reached and discovered the answer, it was a fine horizontal crack where my frozen left hand lodged. With body crooked into a geometrical pattern, right foot high upon the anvil-shaped protrusion, torso leaning leftwards at an obtuse angle, I strained. Straighten and straighten and straighten! And I stood, moved my hands by unrecalled excresences,stepped higher and stepped out of controlment into unspeakable helplessness. I had dashed up against the overlap, its bullying wall pressed against my left cheek, forcing my head down. Out of my left eye, inches from the rock I could see a smear of moss, its cyrillic script of minute fronds in fine green detail; out of my right eye I could see the vista of monochromatic hills, their contours deformed by banks of slush. I am not sure if I held myself there unable to move or if it was the rock that held me, taunting me, allowing me to savour the world that lay below, giving my imagination time to ponder on the moment when flesh and egg-shell bones would collide with the adamantine mass. Something whispered, 'a leg at least.'

I left suddenly, flicked like a snail backwards with an abrieviated moan, cradling the air, and falling was heavily stopped - too soon. Tugged and winded, expectations of a prolonged fall of Daedalic ecstasy dashed against the buttress. My rope had by serendipity, snagged over the anvil-shaped protrusion. Bruised and humiliated I was lowered like a cow.

I cannot say in all honesty that my wife was particularly tolerant of my predilictions of the vertical variety but certain aspects she viewed with greater and greater dismay. I have not mentioned her, have I? We met and married...I forget the year, in fact I cannot now recall the exact date though I know we were engaged soon after my Easter sojourn and married in the mid-winter when the buttress was out of condition. As I say, though aware that I expected to be able to continue my singular outings as a part of the marital arrangements she expressed unreserved disapprobation when I began to fill my study with photographs. These rather crude.....

.....Mummy come and take me off! Mummy come and take me off! Mummy! I've finished! Want go play now! Mummy, please! Gone wee-wee, Mummy! Look Mummy! Want bo-bos now, Mummy! Come take me off Mummy! Mummy pleeeease! Been good boy, Mummy! Look! Gone wee-wee in potty! Been good boy, gone wee-wee! Bo-bos now! Been good! Wee-wee! Mummy!...Mummy? .....

.....I encircled the buttress. Trapped it at the end of the tube, imprisoned it in the precision of optical engineering. Stale flat bottomed clouds hung to the right, to the left a mosaic of every grey filled the horizon. And down came the rain, tip-tapping on my cape, out from which protruded my telescope. Magnified, I could make out each hold on the buttress, every wrinkle I had known, but my interest was not in the known but the unknown, what holds lay on that overlap. I rotated the eyepiece until the definition was complete and I could feel as though I could stretch out my hand and grasp the flake. It was a very fine flake, a well seen flake. I momentarily puzzled on its shape. Then I knew, it was the precise shape of King Charles' head.

A break in the pervasive murk, sending a flute of sunlight earthward, gave me the opportunity I had been waiting for and I took a series of photographs using the tripod plate camera I had set up. The resulting photographs were crude giving only an impressionistic view of the buttress, distantly dwarfed , hazy and yet sublime. It was these photographs that I used to adorn my study walls that so distracted my lady wife and gave such inspiration as I gathered my friends about me in preparation for the assault.

There were nine of us in total. Nine is my lucky number, three times three, nine lives, three the Holy Trinity three times. All augered well. In my heart was success, in my mind was the flake the shape of King Charles' head, whose crown I would clasp and use to conquer the buttress. Oh, the vanity of youth, though even then my youth was fast diminishing. I mustered the men below. Firstly Ross, Wood-Johnson, Smee and McLachlan arranged themselves at the top of the slab, secured in a line and held in place by 60ft. of rope running from the anvil-shaped protrusion across to a finger splinter and back again. Next, Kilduff, Timmis and Willmott followed in their tracks and climbed upon their shoulders. Armitage and Clasper were the final row and stood atop the shoulders of the three below. Finally it was my turn. I believed I had judged it right, my nine compatriots were braced like a reverse scrum, the final two in such a position as to leave me within easy reach of the flake. The slab slipped by easily and I started to ascend the alien terrain of vertical humanity using every mode of artificial hold to accomplish the feat. I pulled on braces, placed my boot on belts or in back-pockets and tugged unmercifully on shirt-tails until I found myself pig-a-back with Clasper. He briskly admonished me for the brutality of my grip but perforce I had little option. the position being very precarious. The next move was a trying one as Clasper was as bald as the proverbial coot and his hairless pate gave little purchase as I struggled to climb over him. Time and time again my hands slipped from his polished dome yet I never once contemplated defeat and after a considerable expenditure of energy I bestrode Armitage and Clasper. The whole pyramid gave one communal groan as I stretched out across the overlap. Ah fate! I could reach the flake, run my hand around the whole profile of King Charles but that royal flange smoothly abutted the wall and offered me no edge to hold- such was the illusion from afar, a lesson well learnt.

It was at that crucial moment that two things occured, the first was a brisk squall blew upon us, drenching us all, and secondly Ross let out a cry of anguish to the effect that the rain had misted his spectacles and that he could no longer see his footholds and...Combined tactics are only as good as their weakest man and the pyramid suddenly lurched to the right, tried to regain its equilibrium then toppled apart, bodies tumbling this way and that. Fearful though the combined tactics catastrophe had been, fortune and planning prevailed and none were injured. For some time we hung in a cat's-cradle of ropes that I had engineered for safety before we composed ourselves and out of the chaos arose order, a self-delivered rescue. One by one we lowered ourselves to the ground. I was at first dismayed to hear ill-concealed mutterings of discontent but they were never given open expression as these were gentlemanly days. Indeed, when I then proposed we re- assemble the pyramid they were to a man, in full agreement. Unfortunately Ross' glasses remained misted and we were no longer able to count on him. Likewise we had to dispense with Wood-Johnson as one of the lenses of his glasses had come out and he felt he would place the whole expedition in jeopardy if he were to be included. This prompted Willmott to note that one of his lenses, though still in place was precariously loose and could come out at any moment. Saddened by this turn of events I turned to the remainder of the stalwarts, MacLachlan almost tearfully owned that the frame of his spectacles had become bent in the fracas above and were no longer safe or serviceable and I almost had to force Armitage to admit that he had cracked a lense. Upon inspection it was clear that a similar state of affairs prevailed for both Timmin and Kilduff though despite the evidence they rigorously denied this for some minutes such was their determination to continue. Clasper pointed out that upon being lowered down his spectacles had suffered some scuffing to the glass and though impercebable to the human eye could endanger what he referred to, I thought somewhat disparagingly, as circus acts, as well as his own ocular well-being. And anyway he added rather caustically, one cannot perform such monkey tricks on your own. I still have Smee was my rejoinder but Clasper seemed to take unecessary delight in indicating the form of Smee disappearing down the scree slope.

-- No doubt. Added Clasper, -- Looking for his spectacles.

I returned to my photographs and my wife.....

.....Keep your distance woman. Come no closer But she is! Laying her hands upon my body, tearing at my clothes, violating me. I cannot stand this humiliation. There, unwrapping my flesh, looking down upon my body, her eyes cast over my wasted torso, withered legs and whatever else. What right has she? My body was only ever open to those that I chose, and it was once thick and strong, master of itself and others indeed, is now subject to this unnoposed ordeal. Exposed. I am at her complete mercy, she could do as she wished as I could not resist. Helpless as a newborn and she is about to...to perform her ritual. The flannel! So cold! The carbolic soap harsh and stinking. Rubbing my face, my head rocking back and forth. Look woman, I'm shaking my head, No, it says, but she ignores me. My chest, my waist, it goes on and on. Please God let it stop. Let me lie forever in my own detritus. I have no need of cleanliness for it is next to Godliness and as God has abandoned me I should abandon him and all near to him.

There, she has gone and I am left alone at last. I shall not now see anyone for...I am no longer able to judge time lying here. Time is an artifice manufactured to give pattern to life. I have no life. I see the sun is upon the hills outside, warming the earth, warming the rock, expanding it, moving it, moving it, yes, moving it like the rain and the frost moves it, sending it closer. If only it were nature alone to blame for its encroachment upon my flesh, if only.....

.....My wife and I's intimacies of the flesh resulted in a son. It was his demands as well as his mother's demands that precluded an early end to my campaign against the buttress as my son was a mewling offspring and my wife mental faculties were temporarily disturbed by his birth. So a whole summer passed by without my regarding the crag and I agonised that in the interregnum the buttress would find another suitor. It was with trepidation I returned with Musgrave in the autumn and found to my relief that the buttress had not succumbed to anyone elses advances, although I had become aware of other's interest. Lacking the man-power to resume the earlier modus operandi I resorted to an imaginative alternative. Lodging the scaffolding upon the smooth rock was immensely troublesome and was only solved by the use of the finest alpine beal and wedges. Piece by piece this upright pier arose, lashed together, balanced and triangulated into a structure of considerable stability and strength. Belayed by Musgrave on the ground I stood atop the poles, once more level with King Charles' head but this time supported by trustworthy inanimatecy. The flake as before offered no hold but I had come armed to alter that state of affairs. From my rucksac I produced a lump-hammer. If nature could not produce a hold then the ingenuity of man would. At first my effort was timid, hardly enough to produce a dull ringing sound. So increasing my force, sparks began to flicker, harder still, chips flew like shrapnel but I could not produce a hold, so I struck in frustration then in anger. Harder and harder. The flake sheared off quite suddenly, taking me by surprise. It caught my knee with a glancing blow then spun down the face, ricocheted once on the slab and before I could voice a warning, struck Musgrave with its full force. I rapidly descended and hobbled to Musgrave who lay pinioned beneath the flake, his pale face protruding out from under the rocky curls of the king. At first I took him to be lifeless but after the removal of the excorticated flake he sat upright and wheezed. Within the hour he was recovered enough to be helped towards the valley. As we departed I cast a rueful glance back at the buttress, a pale shape on the overlap the outline of King Charles' head showed where the flake had been. So where there had been a flake now there was the shadow of a flake, an illusion of what once existed.

My wife carped intermittently at me, carped not because of my doings but it was her nature to do so. Her subjects were varied, domestic, financial, but of all her bleatings the commonest was that I was a Family Man, or in her emphatic words, supposed to be a Family Man. Therefore, one day whilst weakened by guilt, I proposed, not I thought unreasonably, a family holiday. She agreed with alacrity and spent the following weeks excitedly selecting her outfits and bonnets, and filling our son with tales of her own childhood holidays. It was only as we pitched our tent on a small flat patch of turf some way below the buttress did she give vent to her disappointment. I was surprised by the vehemence of her outburst and more than a little shocked by her language. Exhausted by her hysterical scene she took to the tent sulking, my son wandering disconsolantly in the environs whilst I prepared for an exploratory outing on the buttress. However, during the night a fierce wind of hurricane proportions arose. By first light our camp was destroyed, my family had retreated to the valley, their cries and curses echoing in my ears, but worse, much worse, the scaffolding I had so carefully erected had been torn asunder and flung into matchwood across the hillside.. For days I sat in mournful contemplation of the destruction knowing my means of success was obliterated. When I finally returned home my wife had left me taking my son.

It was here in this very room that it happened. I had taken to my bed exhausted by my endeavours to discover the whereabouts of my son and wife. The search had taken me across the country and back again and finally to Liverpool where I believed thay had boarded a boat for America. Mentally and physically debilitated I was lying in my bed when Musgrave came tapping on my door. At first I thought he was here to commiserate with me at my loss but it quickly became clear that he had some message of greater import. He hummed and hahhed until at last he came out with it.
-- The buttress.
-- Yes?
-- It...it has been climbed.
I was stunned beyond words.
-- It was Clasper.
-- Clasper!
When the words came they came in a torrent. Sadly it was my friend Musgrave who bore the brunt and finally, unable to bear my words any longer he fled the room quoting over his shoulder,
-- I that do bring the news made not the match. When my rage subsided, curiously I found myself as determined as ever. Whatever my desires towards the buttress were it was not the brilliance of ego that lit my ambition but the dulled beam of mere accomplishment. Its conquest, though not at my hands, did not diminish one jot my resolution to succeed. And how I regret such relentless perseverance. I should have thrown in the towel there and then, but no, that infernal bastion of rock lured me onwards like some obsidian diety to be worshipped and glorified before turning celebrant into sacrifice.....

.....There are rustles and grumbles outside my door. Squawks of birds, squeals of cats, endless movements that approach and recede. How long have I lain here, tended by that woman? Is it months? Is it years? I hear the sound of a dress brush by the door, then the sound of clinkered boots on the floorboards. All this movement around me emphasising my inertia. I can feel my body, like the phantom limb of an amputee but nothing moves, not a tic or blink. She is outside my door but she will not enter, she is there tormenting me. I hate her yet I am alone. Am I abandoned, abandoned to this end...? Outside rain beats upon the window, the day is ending, the mountains are darkening once more, disguising the easy tread of vengeance.....

.....I turned and turned again on the tiny scree patch below the buttress, my each foot-fall compressing the stones. Around in agitation, stirring the livid clouds that stood solid as a city above and in the coombe, their mass stifling our air. Musgrave, loyal and forgiving stood apart, his hands passing over the rope in readiness. He looked up as far away thunder cannoned but it passed unremarked by me, lost as I was, turning thinking and turning once more. The demons were there gathering at dawn, the demon that impelled me on to be there and the demon that was the buttress. A pungent vapour , of sulphur, of cordite, of chlorine, drifted along the edge of the crag and I lifted myself off the earth and onto that limb of rock. I crawled on all fours like an animal up the slab. Passing the rope around the anvil-shaped protrusion I stepped left to the splinter of rock where I now knew Clasper had triumphed. With simian agility I shinned up the splinter and reached far to my right across the overlap to a concealed hold of peculiar dimensions. With heart hammering I pulled high and was able to peer up the final two hundred feet of buttress. The way was open, ledges and staircases beckoned to me. Whatever part of my essence gave me being, whether spirit or soul, it felt the moment of liberation upon it. The first tremble was so insignificant that I took it to be my own body's excitement. The second rocked me on my holds and I clung on out of fear, but clung on I did. The buttress had shuddered sending seismic waves along its length. Before I could even examine the impossibility of such a happening the next tremor struck and I hung on like a storm tossed sailor to the rigging. Mighty as each thrust had been I would not let go. Then, as if in climactic frustration the whole buttress rose up then sank down and began to crumble, to fragment and to deconstruct in our mutual undoing. And with one enormous paroxic shrug I felt freed from the violence, felt safe out in the air, then felt no more.....

.....And here I still lie, my potency left behind on that crag, feeling the movements all around me, the sway of the earth; knowing that the buttress,undiminished by the fall, is immutably closing in on me, demanding its unfinished business. It is late and getting darker yet it is not the night nor the war that causes the light to fail but my destroyer growing nearer, about to overwhelm me here in my room. Here I will lie helpless, with not an utterance or gesture of resistance as it finally crushes whatever life I have left out of me................



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Live To Climb

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