Today is Japhy Ryder’s Birthday
One time Eric Paul Shaffer and I decided to climb the Matterhorn. Not the one you think but the one right in front of you when you stand on the edge of Bridgeport, California and look directly east. Not that we could see it that day either. We had just read The Dharma Bums and Kerouac’s fine words occluded our view of what was going on in the mountains. Maybe if we had paid attention to the signs right there in front of us—for instance, those mares’ tails in the sky that morning—we would not have been caught outside on the mountain in that surprise Memorial Day snowstorm.
Thirty years later, Eric lives in Hawaii and I’m on the other side of the continent. Another May, another range of mountains, another surprise snowstorm. Still no clear view of the Matterhorn. But this time I’m caught inside and wondering about the difference. Oh well, enough already. Better go brush the snow off the lilacs.