I went and saw the mountain. It was big and unnecessarily pointy, so much so that someone might get hurt. I assumed that was the point. Still, one might think they’d put up a warning sign or something. The air was thin, the food was scarce and there weren’t any sherpas to eat and abuse. Maybe I was at the wrong side of the mountain, who knows? Either way (of the mountain), I’m not going back there to find out.
Unlike the mountain itself, the whole endeavour turned out to be pretty pointless. I didn’t get an epiphany, no life-altering realisation of how everyone will be dead and then we certainly won’t be able to go mountaineering any more. Considering I didn’t have an epiphany, I assume that this is more or less what it’d be. Perhaps that’s the epiphany after all. And I will never go grappling onto mountains again anyway.
They said the view would be breathtaking. I didn’t assume it actually just meant you needed oxygen tanks to be able to live. The view itself I’d rate as Acceptable. 11.2 out of 19.4. I gazed neutrally at the unobstructed landscape and exclaimed: “hmmmm.” Which I’ll admit is less of an exclamation and more of a hum. But then again, I was breathing like a diver without being underwater. I appreciated that – it didn’t mess up my hair so much.
I couldn’t see my house from up there. That would have been handy, because I wasn’t entirely sure if I’d closed my window. I didn’t see the edge of the world either. But then again, I accepted the world was round, even though I’d happily argue the opposite if someone paid me enough (and that isn’t much, really).
Everyone expects the experience to be told passionately and with a touch of wonder and excitement. Saying the brutally honest obvious truth, “it’s only marginally less irritating than constipation”, is not the thing people want to hear. Certainly not in a support group for people suffering from chronic diarrhoea (those people can’t take a joke – they quite literally shit their pants). Choose your battles and make up the story your audience wants to hear. Or just run away and never say anything ever again. I’ve done both.
If my logic confounds you, know that is the result of the cosmic truth clashing with the expectation of the lies you tell yourself. I know, because I constantly lull myself into sleep with the same lies. And then I dream, not of mountains, but of a complete black void, as if the light is not only switched off, but swallowed by a black hole along with everything else and everything everywhere. It’s an uneventful, but poignantly accurate dream.
I came down from the mountain an unchanged man. Then I googled how much explosives I would need to blow up that mountain. I didn’t have that many explosives, so I gave up and ate some tomato soup.
I’m a busy man, you see.