Into Thin Air

Just read Jon Krakauer's Into Thin Air. Normally, I hate non-fiction. Hate. It's boring; it's dumb; it's repetitive. Repetitive. No wonder non-fiction's so popular with the masses. Mostly non-fiction is a stretched out magazine article that shouldn't have been stretched out. This book is not. It's got plot, suspense, big words. It's what most fiction should be and isn't. I couldn't put it down, which I've said about other books, but not because it was easy to read. Because the story was compelling. As was the writing.

It creeped me out. And now I can't stop thinking about mountains. I'm dreaming about them. I've never seen a snow-capped mountain; I've seen Vermont's Green Mountains, but they're green, and not so tall. I gotta go see the Rockies at least. That and the Pacific Ocean. Maybe before I die...

Mount Everest is so high it's top cuts into the jet stream. Holy shit. About 1 in 4 people die trying to get there. And you need a hell of a lot of money to get there. At least $60,000. That's about 3 times as much as I make in a year. But now that I can apply for a Canada Council grant, maybe I should propose a trip? Then I'll write some poems. Big poems. The biggest in the world.

When people die on Everest, most of the bodies are left there. And 'cause it's so cold, those bodies stick around for decades. Imagine hiking on up a glacier, your brain's fucked up from lack of oxygen, and there's someone's lower torso from 1987. What do you do? Look away and keep on marching. Like war. And teaching.