For those who may not remember, we last left our detoured adventurer outside the Alzheimer’s Cafe. He’d had a day that had more than pushed his personal boundaries of sanity and was in the middle of a disturbing meltdown.
Yes, he feels he is becoming more knowledgable than he wants to be about living in a world that is far from what it seems. Little does he suspect how much more learning is ahead….
Ugh!! Rough landing! Sand everywhere.
Nothing feels broken though…Can wiggle everything, all right?
Ooh, my head. I’m gonna get an egg there for sure. Tender.
Wow, get a grip now pal. Let’s figure this out. Where am I? And how do I get outta here?
I’m clinging to a narrow finger of sandy rock. Every time I move I scrape off more grains of sand which silently disappear below. Everywhere I can see from here looks the same. OMG, I’m in Alzheimer’s Canyon!!
And look, there’s Monsieur Maitre d’Oily way up there on that ridge.
“Hey, Monsieur! It’s me. Down here! Got a rope?” I shout at him, waving my arms.
He’s just standing there.
“Hey, what about dessert? How is the turmeric/kale vegan tiramisu today?….. Ha ha, just kidding….” I have to scream at him, and still he pays no attention.
“No really, I think I’m gonna need a hand getting back up there. This sand is as slippery as anything!”
“I really don’t have a handhold, or a foothold either,” I add.
Why doesn’t he say anything? Instead, he just points to a spot on the canyon wall to my left. Then, still without a word, he disappears over the rim.
Now that I am completely alone, I notice that my palms and the soles of my feet are sweating as I contemplate my slim collection of options:
* I have to go somewhere, sometime soon. I will need food and water to survive, if I don’t slip off this mountain first.
* Going up doesn’t seem promising. I SWEAR that jerk of a maitre d’ heard every word I said before he turned his back on me and left. And besides the evidence grows every minute that this guy could be a no-holds-barred psychopath or sadist or whatever.
* It’s just too steep and slippery to think about going up or down.
* That leaves sideways, and the maitre d’s mystery spot. It doesn’t take long to figure out that traversing is the least suicidal of all the choices. And, who knows? I might even make it to the Monsieur’s spot!…at least I’ll have a destination.
Meanwhile, the sun has slipped beyond the horizon leaving the bulk of the Canyon in complete darkness. But the full moon shines strong in the bowl I’m clinging to, reflected around by the sandy cliffs. I can’t really worry if I can make it across. I just have to.
I have to make a conscious effort to keep my toes from randomly curling up, but I keep going.
I never knew my hands could sweat this much, but I keep going.
Then, suddenly, as I squeeze around a corner, there’s the SPOT. Though it’s only 20 feet or so away, it still resembles nothing else but….a Spot, something made by humans. Scrambling closer, it’s obvious that the dark Spot is nothing other than the end of a very big metal pipe angling upwards into the slick rock.
There’s even a company name stamped on it: SAN-DI-FLUSH.
I find a curious little shelf below the pipe outlet, where I can rest in somewhat less hair-raising conditions. and I try to do just that and stretch out on the shelf. Smooth. Nice.
I’ve got to think, to puzzle this out. My head is hurting trying to imagine what is going on here when I realize it’s not just my overloaded brain, but I’m listening to actual noises coming down the (unclimbable) pipe. Industrial noises.
Will the game ever stop changing down here? And will I always be so alone? Perched on the edge of a monstrous, death-dealing wilderness, and NO ONE, NO ONE around.
Sand starts dribbling out of the pipe overhead, I feel a groaning sound, and all at once I know for sure that I’m not safe here on my polished shelf.
Everything is wrong, and unless I want to die in this forsaken place, I’ve got to go.