Giving Up and Going Down

Dearest Rachel –

I want to say it was Everest; I’m pretty sure it was the North Col we were suspended from. Our Sherpa guides – because you definitely need them, when assaulting this mountain – had advised us to make our way back down, even though we were ‘only’ a thousand feet short of the summit. They, on the other hand, were about to scale the sheer face that much further, in an attempt to bring down another group stranded that much further up the pass who were also not going to be able to reach the top of the peak and make their way down safely before the spring thaw made the trip lethally treacherous.

The strange thing was, descending a sheer rock face is apparently not as easy as simply wedging a crampon into a tight spot in between the stone, sliding a mile or two of rope into the loop, and rappelling down from there – as if an acrophobe such as I could bring myself to do any of that in any event. No, it was every bit as slow and torturous as making our way up had been; handhold by handhold, foothold by foothold, only backwards, so you couldn’t see where you were going, and one missed step would easily spell doom.

This is the sort of thing that in real life, I would never get myself into. And in fact, even as I was supposedly understanding that our descent would not involve a relatively quick series of rappellings, I concluded that this made no sense, therefore, it had to be a dream. The fact that my climbing party included the likes of Tatewake Kuno (the rich idiot samurai wanna-be from Ranma ½) and Danny Bonaduce (the ne’er-do-well ex-child star from The Partridge Family, and better known to us from World’s Dumbest) only confirmed my suspicions.

So at this point, there was no reason to attempt to figure out how I’d gotten into this predicament in the first place, as dream logic, by its very nature, simply doesn’t translate to the waking world. It just is, and you have to leave it at that.

Indeed, there was very little more to it than just the fact that we had to turn back before really coming even within sight of the summit. We had been assured by our guides that proceeding much further would be too dangerous. Well, I could’ve told them that even before leaving base camp; this was not something that I would’ve gotten myself into in real life. I wouldn’t have even gone so far as to book a flight to Kathmandu in the first place.

But once you are where you are, there’s really nothing more for it than to do what you need to do in order to extricate yourself. And I suppose that was the purpose of the dream; although what specifically I need to pull myself out of, I couldn’t say. Maybe my mind was just giving me its oblique approval for my cutting things off with Ruby. It would be nice if the interpretation was that simple.

Fortunately, the whole thing faded away before having to get into the nitty-gritty of actually descending from wherever we were on, because I’m pretty sure my mind – knowing next to nothing about what’s truly necessary for such an endeavor – would completely screw up what needed to be done to get out of there. Not that it had gotten details correct up unto this point, to be sure, but still.

And so, now I’m left telling you about this before it completely fades, leaving the both of us to try to make sense of it… or not. That’s the thing about dreams; they might mean something, like they did in ancient times, or they might just be my brain’s attempt to make sense of my life these days. Of course, if the latter explanation is the truth, why are its attempts to clarify things so much less clear than my actual life?

In any event, honey, wish me luck… I think I’m going to need it.

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I am Rachel's husband. Was. I'm still trying to deal with it. I probably always will be.

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