There is a reason I go there.
I go because the branches arch over the gutter trail touching
overhead like the trees of Harvard-Yale where we grew up.
Because once we hiked it as sisters with me in the lead laughing and her behind me complaining. That was years after, and maybe a bit of payback, for when I was the younger one who knew nothing about it listening to her tell me about a room on the mountain with a stone sofa and chairs. We weren't apart very often so how she had managed to go off and discover it without me is still a wonder.
I hike the Livingroom because you can touch heaven even on days when moving across flat ground seems unmanageable. When time doesn't allow uncounted for hours you can still slip the rules of the city and join the mountain.
A few years before my sister died we hiked this canyon together in the freshly fallen snow of a beautiful October, sisters rising under Autumn skies of ghostly blue.
I have had periods of time when I swore off the SLC Overlook trail
but I have never released my love of this one.
The year it burned I raced up to see it.
Hiked the surreal black and pink of a burnt mountain. A velvet mountain of red dust and green oak. Eruptions of rock and wildflowers. Pockets of snow and mud too slick to stand on.
Maybe I am afraid if I don't go often enough I will turn around and find it gone.
Consumed by the city. Or too steep for me to climb. Too familiar to see. Too familiar to love.
Last night old Moses dog fell half way down the stairs and for a long time he couldn't get up.
Watching him age is strange like poorly written science fiction.
We adopted him when he was just a baby, right before we had Beach.
But Beach ages in a smooth arc.
And the dog grows old in chunky stages like a sticky gear turning.
He will live a whole lifetime in a miniature frame when compared to us.
Soon he will stop aging and we will leave him behind frozen in time.
Tomorrow I turn 43.
I look in the mirror and I really think the older I get the more I look like she did.
And the longer I outlive her the more I wonder if she ever really existed.
Wonder how she could have died, and how I could have ever survived it.
Whether or not I understand or believe both are true.
So I go to the Livingroom because that is where the living go while they still can.