There was once a railing, but I've long since lost it. The air is dark and stale and thick, like the inside of something and I can't remember what; and then yes, I think, it's the earth, or my mother. The steps are rock, or the rock is carved into steps, and when I first ascended it was an incline, as steps are meant to be. That was when the light was on, seconds ago or hours, but the light it went out again and now I don't know what to call them. They stopped stepping and started crawling and I don't know what to call them now. They're hard and rocky and silty and my hands are dirty and cracked and bleeding. It's never a climb, never quite straight up, and I do the best I can. The steps become smaller, or where I'm stepping becomes smaller, and maybe it's wider out to the sides but I can't tell because it's dark. It's dark and black and I can't tell. I could test it, sliding to the side and reaching out with my toes in time, but I don't have the time, and if there's nothing, if there's a hole or if the steps end and there is no railing, I will fall.
I'm not entirely alone. There is me and the steps and the dark, and there is the wind. It's cold and stale, blowing from I don't know where, and I can feel it now and again dancing across my forehead. When it blows I feel the wetness, the slickness, the sweatness on my brow, and in spite of the cold I'm hot from the inside, and I'm a calorie burner, and just try and stop me, just try and stop me now.
The wind blows from the dark, or from the sea perhaps, a great sea to either side. I cannot see it and I cannot hear it, but I know it and I feel it. Steps are a tool when made by man, but when forged by earth, from within the earth, they are tricksy and tempting, and I do not trust them. They rise from the sea, from cave to earth to sky, but they do not say where they will lead, and maybe they curve and spike and deceive, and maybe they lead back to the beginning, back into the past, where I come from and do not want to go.
The lightbulb lights, once again. It buzzes with sound but the sound is far off, and the light it is near, and the heat it is near, and the light and the heat, they are near. I can see it and I can hear it, but I do not know it and I do not feel it. Encased by wire, but I don't know how I know. It shines and it curses and the steps grow from mystery and are wide and safe again. I can sit on them, could lay on them if I wished, without fear of falling. The incline lessens and they are steps again and safe and I walk them, I step them, and the buzzing is there but not dangerous. It is comforting, but I push it out all the same, the buzzing, and I reach out to stop it and to hide my eyes from it. The wind it blows and it bites and it hurts, and it's hot and dizzy and hurty. I'm far from cool, I'm nearing the heat and the hot and the wet.
It's easy. It's easy so fuckit, I walkit. I don't hop it. I don't hurry. There is no hurry. There's no reason to. Except the light bulb. I can hear it. The buzz. And I can squint it but it hurts to look. The wind has stopped. The air is still again. Warm. Hot. Hotter than it was. The air felt good on my sweat before. Now it's just sweat. I'm just hot. I keep walking. More of a stumble. Up the stairs.
The buzzing goes out and the light goes out and the heat goes out and it's dark. I can feel the air again, and the windit blows, and it's cool. But I'm scared because the incline is back. It's never straight up but it curves and I don't know where it stops or where I started from.