Waeg wasn't a waeg in those days.
He was simple country folk, doing what simple country folk did. As he'd worked service for years, taking a summer gig in the Rockies working a resort seemed a nice enough way to pass the summer. The English RoseTM he digged banging was into it, so all systems were go.
He entertained racism for the first time, and broadened his understanding of discrimination: the family that owned the hotel were Ugandan immigrants, moving their wealth overseas to safer shores. In trade, he never shared his association with SHARP, then lost contact with his best friend, a Malay-Indian Singaporean.
He worked the floor. He was expected to surrender his tips every night, to be kept by the establishment, released upon successful completion of his contract.
Sorry Mr. Opio, I really can't explain why I only made less than 20 dollars a night the last 2 weeks. . .
He was the firebrand, the bad apple: isolate, contain, destroy. The dust bunnies a.k.a room cleaning staff, openly mocked him.
The first time he got his hands on some pot after a considerable absence, he threw his lot in with the world: right now, immediately, go climb that rock face! As is!
Later he would think: soft cock. That rock face was only 600 meters! Pffffffft!
He soon learned to understand it as inadvisable for a neophyte. It always is easier to glorify the past when it serves.
When he got to the top, he sparked one up. He didn't think of the grueling overhang that took a good 20 minutes to negotiate. He didn't think of the indecision: up? down? Down is death. Work it dumbass! The rock won't change before you can!
He did pride himself on making it despite the rain, the steel toed workshoes he'd made the climb in, the lack of harness or support.
Then it all meant nothing as he saw the expanding lake, the mountains, god. He understood things then that would forever escape those that had not risked it all, those who had not seen the immensity he now knew, which contained all while still being but a miniscule fraction of what is. He had been chosen to see, but he knew talking about it diminished and brought ridicule.
The walk down was a path set up for the tourists. That used to make him laugh, months after, when he knew how insignificant it would all seem to be.
Now he thinks on the drive that made him choose, and why he chose to write about it now.