Summer, sophomore year of high school, I found myself perched seventy feet in the air on the brink of a narrow ledge above a massive rock quarry filled with some 200 feet of water (that is, according to urban legends). The quarry was embedded in the popular mythology of my home town, with stories from monster catfish, submerged mining equipment, and human tragedy all part of the canon, but in no way was I concerned or distracted by the real or embellished history of the place. My thoughts were focused on one issue, and one issue only: the singularly intimidating jump I was prepared to make, had to make, because my friend Robbie had just done it and he was taunting me from what seemed like a mile below. 70 feet of empty, vertical space between I and water. It was truly a beautiful scene. Once the pollen of spring had worn off the entire quarry took on a deep azure hue, its sparse and shallow edges being of lighter coloration; and it was very isolated, boastful of its soapstone cliffs painted in crimson, vibrant yellows, and oranges.

Excerpt from a paper written for Psychology 28 – Psychology of Human Behavior, 2004


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