Crack the Spine - Issue 190

Page 12

Andrew Bertaina Due North

Hello Darling, I hope this letter finds you in good spirits or something approximating them. I’m going to try writing this again from the perspective of someone who is very sad. I’m not very sad. I’m constitutionally unsuited for it. Whenever I feel myself getting sad I take a drink of bourbon, or go for a stroll in the woods and try and identify birds based on the racket coming down from the cathedral of white pines and spruce. I know next to nothing about birds, but listening to them distracts me from whatever troubles me. It slows me down in a way, connecting me back to old animal instincts, which have nothing to do with feeling sad and everything to do with staying alive. I am happy to report that I am staying alive. If you walk due north from the cabin where I’m staying you’ll find yourself at a trail head with a wooden square shaped sign. The sign details the unique flora and fauna, and extols the virtues of some local landmarks. Some years ago, during the Civil War, someone fired a canon and some other ephemera. Keep walking north and it tells you that you’ll eventually reach the top of Grey’s Peak. To the east, according to the sign, is a waterfall, which is named after an old Native American tribe that used to live here. Traveling west leads you back around to a different trail, which loops back and connects with the original trail. If you head south you’ll find yourself back at the cabin, which isn’t named after anyone. I travel west most days, around the loop trail because it pleases me to

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