Dear old man,
Smell is one way to perceive. Seeing is another. Then there is touch, taste and hearing. The sum of all these is ‘experience’ and it is fundamental to perception. Five senses and one goal.
Dear old man, your good will afforded me a suit without breaking the bank. A special suit, mixed and matched. It came with the smell of old. Some would prefer to call that smell ‘used’.
I wonder what this suit has smelled, seen, touched, tasted and heard. Its smell alone has persuaded my conviction that this suit had seen some ‘shit’.
Dear old man, what could I have done with our suit? I once took a suit to tough mudder. That suit, was my co-pilot as I flew past obstacles and fellow mudders. That suit was my robin.
Every time I picked myself up from the mud, I straightened my tie, dusted my shoulders and strode with my best foot first. That suit was embodied spidey sense. In fact, that suit was my sixth sense. My SUIT SENSE. THE SUIT SENSE.
Dear old man, your suit and I were one this Tuesday as we went to work. The front range our desk and the earth our office. It was also a special day, because it was ‘bring your dog to work, day as well.
I arrived at Guanella Pass at 5:19am. The sky was studded with bright constellations that glistened like diamonds. In the near distant darkness a WILLIAMS banner hangfrom an SUV window. Justin Vassar was on time, and I was four minutes late. It was a day of firsts. It was the first time we had seen each other since Justin graduated. I still have vivid memories of Justin long-boarding down Spring and Hoxey streets. Memories of kicking it with the comrade Brandon Lucien and co. It all seemed like ages ago. It must be because Justin’s thinking cap is locked in ‘dread’. Those take time, I should know.
Two ‘dreadhead’, ‘brothers’, ‘ephs’ (Williams College), braced to tackle two Colorado fourteeners (Mt. Bierstadt and Mt. Evans) on the same day??? I bet there is at least a couple of firsts in there. I can tell you that we were the first ones on the ascending trail that day. At 5:33am. Just the two of us, a dog and a moose.
Dear old man, your suit fit me with a little bit of wiggle room. Past the shrubs we hiked into the boulders and up to the summit of Bierstadt in a couple of hours. Checking in at 7:33 am. The sun was still flirting with the hills, not fully committed. It was cool, but I was sweaty and short of breath. Fourteen thousand feet above sea level will clasp its palms around your neck and sit on your chest depriving you oxygen.
Despite having more than a handful of 14ers under my belt, every summit is exhilarating.
Shortly after summiting Mt. Bierstadt, we set out for Mt.Evans via Sawtooth ridge. A scary and tough class 3 hike. Can I get a Witness!!! It didn’t help that every now and then we had to pass on Zizou (my DAWG) to each other like a baton as we scrambled on all fours and climbed.
Dear old man, even Sawtooth came to pass and my suit sense was still sharp. Between the three of us, there was plenty of willpower to go around. And despite Mt. Evans having a couple of false peeks that teased with ill intentions, we eventually summited.
The descent to trail head was arduous to say the least. It comprised of a descent down what should have been labeled a cliff with loose rocks, wading through shin high swamps and a distant destination that was a mere mirage. We got lost but we never lost ourselves or each other.
Dear old man, 8 hours later we clocked out at 2:45pm at the trail head where it all started. The three of us (minus the moose), with a shared experience and a common favorite drink. Mountain Dew, the sweat that dripped down our faces. An 8 hour day as THE MAN would have it.
Still in my suit, I look back and remember the first and last time I hiked Mt. Bierstadt. Then, I was a man madly in-love. Now I am just a man in a suit mad with-love.
I’d like to leave you with a question. “How are you free?”
Thanks for the suit