Saturday, March 10, 2007

Curtains of Spots

In the comments under the Nitpicking post, Lahdeedah mentioned how hard it is to walk up stairs when you're new to the altitude of Colorado's Front Range.

When we moved here from Houston in 1971, I was in my late twenties and had been moderately active - or as active as the ghastly Houston humidity and heat permitted. I considered myself a fairly fit fella. Right after we got here, Leonore and I went to the mountains with a friend. Not very high in the mountains, either. I was overcome with the beauty of it all and went running happily along a trail. Born free! As free as the wind blows! As free as -- In seconds, I was sitting on a convenient large rock (lots of those around), gasping, and watching the curtain of spots waving in front of my eyes. Golly. Fitness is relative, isn't it?

The relationship to writing is a bit tenuous, but it's there. Just like the protagonist of John Denver's great (but often absurdly and unfairly maligned) song, "Rocky Mountain High", I felt freed from my previous life, reborn. I started writing seriously instead of mostly just nattering and whining about it. The following year, my first published short story, "Adam's Servant", appeared in the December 1972 issue of Cavalier, a men's magazine. Brilliant story, of course, but I think they bought it because of the sex. That same issue also contained a short story, "The Mangler", by some kid named Stephen King, who I understand has sold a few more things since then.

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