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I’m far away from Berkeley, from the busy life of a scientist. My clothes are covered in chalk, the skin on my hands is torn and bleeding. I’m weary, wind-blown, sunburnt. The light of another day begins to slowly fade away, casting long shadows off the Sierras and massive boulders that surround us. I peer out over the rocky Bishop terrain and watch Ethan run a lap on a highball, his movement graceful and calm, his body floating up the rock. He always makes it look so easy, so casual. I pause and breathe in the mountain air, and for the first time in a long time, I’m free again.

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