I don’t like to walk long. I have walked long before and I know what it feels like. However, I also know something of the queer pride soldiers take in being able to take it like a mule. In the army we were always walking long as mules, and longer. I remember a walk in Ranger School that went through the deepest darkest depths of night completely without ceasing through endless clanking cursing darkest night up a mountain in Georgia where there weren’t supposed to be mountains like this that a person could spend the entire night climbing. The walks went on forever. We could never accomplish a night movement without someone spilling into a ravine or going off the edge of a precipice. On one movement I was the patrol leader and went off a 40-foot ravine. As it happened I landed in a shallow creek flat on my back. I came away uninjured. Just a little goofey. A full ruck and k-pot stuffed with all manner of army shit (huge sleeping bag for starters) cushioned my fall. That was 1998 before everyone was using night vision for everything. I walked away uninjured. Landed flat on my back in a creek. You couldn’t die wearing that army shit I thought. I bought into kevlar. That sweatliner followed me everywhere. The army issued me a new sweatliner every duty station having no idea mine was not being tossed away. At one point the k-pot design changed and they went to a different attachment system. I rued the day. At least that’s what I remember. But that wasn’t something disposable, that headband. You see. I sweat into that piece of leather like a mule.

When I think about walking long my entire physical being rebels against it. My re-made junctions creak and groan at the prospect. My head starts to ache just above the base of the back inside of the skull where I feel elevation.

I start to feel as though I am sliding down the mountain out of control from a missed step and will come away bleeding or worse. I have a great sense of being deterred from something repugnant. I guess that is what I want to demonstrate with each and every step I take along the rim of the sky with only a stick for protection. That I have come upon something utterly repugnant and am doing everything in my power to escape.