Dylan HurleyPer. 2The Nature of the YukonThe world began to spin around, I stumbled out of class and down the hall. I had the realization that our lives are a bunch of lies. I was overwhelmed. I felt alone and lost in a matter of seconds. I don’t know what triggered it but it all flooded into my head like a tidal wave. I was at home now throwing stuff into a backpack. First my clothes then some water and finally food. Soon I was sitting on on a bus, the world still spinning. I felt dizzy, I felt like I was gonna puke. This life didn’t feel real. I was getting up from my seat on the bus, I stepped off the bus. I shot straight up from my sleep into a sitting position. I reached over for a drink. I checked my watch, “2:00 AM” it read. I rolled out of my tent and into the cool night. It was dark, not a single noise except for the gentle breeze rustling the nearby trees. I was camping on the edge of a cliff. I looked out and didn’t see another single light over the entire valley. This is why I left, for this moment right here. I wanted to be alone, I wanted to touch the strings of a life away from the judgment and pressure of modern society. I needed to feel the stone face of cliff and the bark of a tree. It’s been two months since I left and I have never regretted my decision. The humans I left behind live in a world where they all lie to each other to benefit themselves. They pretend to be happy, they pretend to understand what life is. Life is not what they are living in. Life is not a popularity contest or a war of wealth. I looked up from the horizon above me was a world operating in harmony. All the stars seemed to sparkle in unison. Those stars and planets coexisted peacefully in emptiness. They held onto each other with an invisible force and kept each other moving. Society should take notes from the stars and learn how to live like them. Us humans are individuals like the stars in the fact that we are alone but, we don’t support each other like the stars do. We shun the humans who are not as good as us. The red streak of a jetliner’s flashing lights above me broke my thoughts. I went back into my tent and packed my bag for the day. I put my knife, spare food, water, and a flashlight into my bag. On me, I had a jacket along with my hunting rifle. Hours later I was perched on a rock overlooking a crossing in the river. I waited patiently for an unsuspecting animal to fall into the crosshairs of my rifle. It began to rain. I put my hood on and then focused my eyes back on the crosshairs. It began to rain harder, the river was starting to rage with foam and fallen branches. Lighting struck the hill in the distance. I slumped my head in shame over the butt of my rifle. No animals were coming, only the leftovers from yesterday’s kill. I walked back to the tent. My boots were full of water by the time I got there. I threw my soaked body onto my sleeping bag. I pulled out a piece of dried deer meat from yesterday and began to eat. I slowly felt myself drifting off into a sleep. I was walking off the bus. I was in the Yukon. I had traveled over 1200 miles from my home in Seattle. I was frantic. I ran deliriously to the truck I had gotten. I was driving down a dirt road no one around. I had no idea where I was going, only that I was just looking for something. I stopped the truck, grabbed my bag and stepped out into the air. I paced down the trail. It then became a jog and soon followed a run. I was fueled by emotion. I was now sitting at my camp cooking my first meal. Looking over the valley for the first time. I was awoken to the sound of smashing outside my tent. I pressed my eye up to the crack in between the entrance hole. To my horror, there was a bear rummaging through my belongings. Terrified, I quietly reached behind me for my rifle. I loaded it, prepared to defend the home I had created. I released the safety, I pushed the barrel through the crack in the opening. I put the crosshairs on the head of the massive animal. I took a deep breath to calm myself. In a flash the world seems to move slowly, my ears were ringing and my vision seemed fuzzy from the shock. I saw the bear on the ground, motionless, it had been taken out of this world in a matter of seconds. I let out a sigh and pulled myself out of the tent. I walked over to the fallen creature. I had never killed an animal this big. I now had enough food to last me weeks. I returned with my knife and began to skin the dead animal. I cut the meat off and packaged it into plastic bags. I put some on the fire to see how it tastes. It was hard to chew and had little flavor. Nevertheless, it was food and I was happy. I collected the fur so I could turn it into a blanket. A year later I am still sitting on the same cliff, looking over the same valley, living the same way. This is how we are supposed to live. I have never considered going back, that life is not for me. I am sitting on the edge of the cliff looking over when the feeling I’ve been searching for this whole time comes over me. That feeling is the happiness with my current state. Not even happiness but peacefulness in the head. I feel at rest with the decision I made. I am relaxed, a life without stress. The sun begins to set behind the hills in the distance. My world begins to fade into darkness slowly. Someday, I will die here. This is where I want to die. I don’t want anything else in life.