We live at the bottom of the mountain. With the spring sun comes the winter runoff, and this prepares us, to some extent, for the deluge of summer. I don’t know how many more years we can do this though, I’m terrified that we’re running out of room. And once the mountain is full, I honestly don’t know what will happen next.
Some years ago, two men arrived at the bottom of the mountain, red car rag top dust trailing behind. Their shiny shoes matched their shiny glasses, showing only that which looked at them, not what they saw. Their smiles were broad and insincere, half hidden by well kept whiskers, and the crisp white cards they carried promised usury. We were suspicious, tried to steer them elsewhere, but old Mr. Ellis, whose family had owned the top of the mountain since way back, he was always a sucker for feeling important. Being the youngest of nine, he’d lived a lifetime of being passed over, until time gave him what he’d always considered his birthright, putting his siblings in the ground and him in charge. And those shiny men, they cottoned to that right away. It was only a matter of time before he gave them exactly what they wanted. Access.
Since then, every year they return, bringing a whole swath of folks with them. I remember reading somewhere, ‘after three, the multitude,’ as though something magical can be kept quiet until enough know about it, and then there’s no stopping it. And not everyone knows how to react to things that are magical. People are just as likely inclined to stamp it out, destroy it, as to cherish and respect it. Perhaps more so.
Sometimes I think those men were devils and when Mr. Ellis shook their hands, made a deal, that was the three they needed, and it invited a torrent of people looking for somewhere to be. Most people seem to live for escaping their lives, they work and they toil and they stress, and for short amounts of time, they escape that drudgery, they vacate. I’m not sure they think about the people who live in the places they’re vacationing to. They don’t think about the work they create, the mess they leave behind. They come with their shiny shoes and their shiny blacked out eyes and tell us of the economic growth they’re burdening us with. Oh, excuse me, benefitting us with.
Mama says I shouldn’t complain. It is how it is, and there is no reason to grumble over what is. All that does is make one frustrated and that helps no one. I try to be like her and not to worry so much, but she’s not been down into the mines and seen what goes on there after the summer folk leave. I wish I could tell her, but so far it’s just me and young Jack who know about it….