I did the research and talked to everyone I knew. I read reviews and window shopped for a long time, then I got the very best harness money can buy. And put it in my closet. I pulled it out from time to time and thought about its qualities, how beautiful, how well-constructed. Every time I heard someone tell a story about using theirs, I would take it out and admire it again. And then I’d put it back in the closet. For years. I never really knew it’s value until today. I didn’t understand.

Today I’m hanging off the side of a mountain, beaten and battered from the fall. I attempted a grueling ascent, and it was strenuous and gorgeous and far beyond my ability level, and right in the middle of admiring a view so wide and piercing I had to close my eyes, my hand slipped and I fell and bashed against the mountain. Blood runs down my face and drips off my chin, and I watch it fall past fingers unnaturally bent. It trickles down the mountain until the supply of red gives out. I swing here, stunned, aching, but alive. I am Alive. And this harness has never been more beautiful.

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