The Pants’ Last Wear: A Dirtbag’s Eulogy

Here’s to pants.  

The pants you never wanted to let go.  The one’s you wore dirty even in the presence of others clean.  

Sewn, sewn, and sewn again.  Ripped, torn, sew and repeat.  Holes in the butt, holes in the knees, holes in the crotch, holes no-one ever sees.  Here’s to pants with holes with three levels of priority: sew sooner, sew later, and not. worth. sewing.

To pants that hiked me to the top of Machu Picchu, and know just as well as I do that it’s not worth the crowds and tourists that trivialize a place that is supposed to be sacred.

Pants that have gazed down into the valley of Huazcarán, high in the Andes, and consistent with local Quechua legend, could almost feel the Shakespearian anguish in the proverbial tears falling from the glacier above.  

Pants that in the same summer (and without a wash in between) stumbled serendipitously onto the boat that would shuttle me and 150 peruvian comrades down the Ucayali River, to the headwaters of the Amazon, and watched pink river dolphins leap across the oceanic expanse of the world’s largest river as the sun cast rays of goldenrod across the ripples they left.   

Here’s to a pair of pants that knows the heart-wrenching symphony that is the rainforest at night time.  Here’s to a pair of pants that knows neither Beethoven nor Bach, Tchaikovsky nor Chopin could ever compete.  

I harvested yucca, aji, and coconut in these pants.  I dug burdock out of holes 4 feet deep, for each root.  I herded goats and tested an electric fence in these pants.  The fence worked.  I fished my own sabalo with my own fishing rod on our own raft, all built by hand, prepped the fish, cooked it and ate it in these pants.

Here’s to pants in which I clambered to the top of 14,000 foot coloradan peaks, ten steps at a time.  Pants that I rolled to ¾ length so as not to trip as I climbed massive Flatiron, Bastille, and Cathedral rock faces.  They trekked me faithfully across the Presidential Range of the White Mountains, and they fought their way up the fierce splitter cracks of the Utah desert.

Here’s to pants in which I stood on 4 different continents.  They maneuvered the marketplaces at Marrakech with me, they scrambled the overhung walls of La Foixarda, and strolled the beaches of Barceloneta with me.  These pants roamed the Red Light District of Amsterdam, got plastered at Oktoberfest in Munich, and got soaked in torrential rain on the side of an Andorran mountain in the Pyranees with me.  They got sunburned in Brazilian sand dunes, and super saturated with sweat in Manaus and Teresina.  They were wine-stained with the French on the banks of the River Garonne.   

These pants taught me how to sew.  They sat still for hours patiently as I stitched them up by headlamp in the dark cloudy rainforest, while I swatted mosquitos and struggled to push the thread through the eyehole with my stubby sausage fingers.  In this way, these pants also taught me patience.  

When times were good or times were sour, these pants pulled onto my legs just the same.  They never quit when they were tired.  

And believe me, they were tired.

These pants are patched with the fabric of other pants that quit sooner.  Sometimes I wonder how much of the original material is even left.  These pants taught me perseverance.  

Here is to this valient piece of fabric, buttons and a zipper that most people just will never understand.  A pair of pants with more stories to tell than the average wardrobe.  A pair of pants that holds a book with so much more depth than its cover.  

You may call me a dirtbag, but in these pants I carry the record of a million adventures never to be forgotten.  



Mountain-Top Stops

I wish only to read, write, explore,

and think.

I pledge allegiance to the red, white,

and pink

of sunsets that tint billows of cloud-pillows

from a mountain-TOP.

STOP. and admire that you are ALONE

Please suppress the desire to reach for your PHONE

the portkey to the world and the path to inner blindess

leave your hands unfurled and let it DROP.

STOP. and recognize the lies realized by one who is

ALONE, and are perpetuated by the mental confines of a PHONE

Please STOP.  And sit ALONE

atop of a STONE on a mountain-TOP

STOP.  And understand you are naught but a

PROP of a show as it unfolds across the time, space,

and cyberspace

of the society that you behold from your Mountain-TOP.

Please, take a second, to breathe and to reckon,

for the hills of enlightenment beckon

Please just STOP, and sit on your mountain-TOP.