The Climber

I knew a man who spent his whole life climbing. I wondered why.

“Because they told me to,” he sighed, his time-worn hands embracing a Scotch. “They promised happiness lay at the top. True happiness. Security. Contentment. So I climbed, leaving behind everything I couldn’t carry. When my hand grasped the highest ridge, I was exhilarated—until I looked over the edge and saw a taller mountain.”

“If there ever was a reason to drink,” I remarked.

“That’s not why I drink,” he groaned. “I drink because when I got back down, everything I’d left below had been stolen away.”

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