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I said, 'Carry me'. He said, 'No'.

I said, 'Carry me'. He said, 'No'.

So I bit his hand that gripped mine, was leading me. I bit hard until I cried. His eyes changed from hazel to blue but he didn't let go. We kept on climbing.

I said, 'Carry me'. He said, 'No'.

I stopped climbing, I stopped moving. Our arms stretched and the distance lengthened between our eyes. I said, 'This level is fine for me. I can't go further.'

He said, 'Empty yourself', and looked away.

I gave up jewelry, a pretty bauble. It smashed on the rocks below. We kept on climbing.

Cars once drove up this steep mountain path. It is said they had tires that gripped the road. Before the Great War there were lights at night that were neither fire nor the moon. There were escalators in shopping malls. Astronauts were sent to space. The earth was a tight, frustrated place. Some died of hunger, some paid money to lose weight. People were locked up.... He remembered the old days, passports and insurance companies, but I was born in 2115.

He started to sing. I held his voice.

The blows of love play tricks on men
And destroy them stage by stage.

I asked: am I acceptable?
The elders said, Make yourself empty.

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