Thunder echoed through the canyons of Midtown. It was raining. Traffic on Fifth was at a standstill, red tail lights clear to the Empire State. I stepped into the city from the park as a distant voice rose above it all: “Everything really does happen in Manhattan.”

Sadly, there was some confusion as to when Rufus, Ben, and Guster were performing at Summer Stage. So there we were, doused by a healthy dose of God’s tears (He was bowling, right?), squeezing the show and a turkey burger in between an eccommerce meeting and rehearsal for tomorrow night’s Sin-e performance.

What with Ben and Rufus, a twenty-five minutes cab ride, a two hour rehearsal, and a half-hour conversation with bassist Tony Macelli, I had a gaggle of musical thoughts swirling around by night’s end. But by the time I got back here to you, Dear Reader, my head refused to raise itself from the keyboard. Many of these thoughts have fled my cluttered mind, where I keep asking myself, “Which day is it today?” The rest are clouded in by strange dreams of crowded airports, twinkling stars, and Telluride, CO. There is less time this morning, as I thought it would be a novel idea to actually go for a run, plus some postcards still require distribution, and I have an early MTV programming meeting. You know the rest: show Friday, Montauk Saturday and Sunday, Miami Monday and Tuesday, Smith Family rehearsal Wednesday, show Thursday …

Turn, smile, shift, repeat.

How is it that I think I can do it all? Why is it that I do all this stuff anyway? And does this relentless schedule have anything to do with my sore throat? I swear, I’d type it all out if I could just blink the sleep from my eyes. And I would answer it all if it weren’t for the specter of Mt. Ajax hulking here before me.

I first visited Telluride on a cross-country road trip between my sophomore and junior years at Syracuse. Scanning the classifieds at my campsite, a half gallon of milk in one hand, a loaf of Baked In Telluride bread in the other, I swore I would return. A photo of Ajax hung above my desk all year long. Every night, gazing up from my efforts to complete some English Textual Studies, American history or Com Law paper, I swore that, some day, I would stand there on top and look down at it all. I drove back to Telluride that spring with $800, a tent, and my guitar. By August, I stood on the peak, looked down, turned around, and drove back East.

Last night, though, Ajax was scarcely visible through the clouds. Its flanks were cluttered with massive corrugated steel pipes. And in the foreground, there was a dense forest of red and white radio towers.

Everyone wants to go forever. I just want to burn up hard and bright. Before the smoke and steam, steel and concrete, or the buzzed and rattled radio waves swallow me whole, I want to stand above it all and look down on a small, orderly world.

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