Young woman on the cliffs
For a while he amused himself opening paths for himself, like an elephant that has heard the Great Call. His strength did not abate, he had no need to stop for breath. He felt no stitch in his side, and his heart didn’t thump or race.
But after a while he wearied of his new sport. The next thing he wanted was to look down on his domain from above, to see how big it was.
He spat on his hands, took hold of a liana, and pulled himself up hand over hand, without using his legs, as he had seen acrobats do in the circus. For a moment a vision — a pale memory of the past — came to him of himself in gym class, dangling like a sack of flour from the bottommost end of the rope, while the rest of the class cackled with glee. He couldn’t help smiling. How they would gape if they saw him now! They’d be proud to know him. But he wouldn’t even look at them.