A Mountain So Lost by Sheldon Lee Compton

Maps are everywhere. On the palm of your hand, across the terrain of your heart. These are maps of hope and magic, emotion and muscle.

But these are not real maps, not those of a drafts man. Not the cartographic maps I make, the general progression from the cave wall to my fingers. The others, the tracks and cuts left on the heart, the spill of superstition poured over the heads of the desperate. These maps are not science. They have no more direction to offer than a wind-beaten cloud.

They call what I did a deliberate error, cartographic graffiti. I like that. It’s better than saying it was a prank or joke. It paints me less like a clown and more as a mischievous eccentric. Being different and clever is how I will be remembered.

In my design for the Rocky Mountains’ continental divide I added a fictitious peak called Mount Richard. It took two years before anyone realized there was no such peak, no mountain bearing my namesake. Two years I spent pointing out me, the mountain, to Heather in the diner in Niwot, to Jill at a bar in Arvada, Kim in Broomfield, Teresa in Wheat Ridge, at least four dozen or more across Colorado.

I should have just kept quiet, stood in silence against the skyline and let the majesty do the talking. I should have learned to be patient in my loneliness, still enough to watch a rosebud bloom.

2 Comments

Filed under Sheldon Lee Compton

2 responses to “A Mountain So Lost by Sheldon Lee Compton

  1. guy

    That urge to blab is often uncontrollable. It’s been the downfall of more than one criminal. However, in this case i think the peak baggers would have found out sooner or later.

    I loved this character. I think Richard had a better response to his doubts about cartography than my character.

  2. What’s the good of playing a “prank” like that if you don’t have anyone else to share it with? Well done!

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