28 July 1952 / Pakistan (K2)

Currently we’re just above 25,000 feet and yet another deathblow snowstorm has shut us down for the day--if not the rest of our lives.

Blasted! I hate to be so negative, but it’s looking fairly grim. As I write this, it’s not hard to imagine my words as being the last record of our doomed expedition. As such, future reader, please excuse the list format I have used to heavily detail our situation. My normal, florid prose requires more oxygen than is available to me.

The Team:

-- Most of the team survives, though we are all suffering varying degrees of hypothermia, leg-break and, most dangerous, ennui. At sea level, ennui can be a helpful catalyst to playwriting or avant garde composition, but at 5 miles above sea level, it is a welcome mat for the angel of death.

--One of our team has died, though it’s become apparent by piecing together interviews of the other climbers that he was already dead when the climb began. In fact he may have accidentally been tied to Jeff (or “Climber #3”) as far back as the train station, and was just designated as “The Lazy Jerk.” Every expedition has one.

--On the first night of our climb we all sat in a circle on the ground, naked, holding hands, each taking turns leading everyone in his own favorite chant. Though this first happened organically, it became a nightly tradition. This tradition has been canceled.

Our remaining supplies:

--23 doves, alive. There seems to have been a backpack mix-up at Base Camp 1 with a magician.

--320 doves, dead. Again, most of these were probably dead before our ascent. That magician was very weird and actually made most of us feel uncomfortable.

--One ear of corn on the cob. We ate nearly half of the bushel the first night, and lost the remainder "hucking corn" at goats.

And as for my own current personal state of being:

--I have not needed to go to the bathroom in eleven days. In order to keep team morale high, I have continued pretending to do so. I think no one is suspicious.

--As for my own frostbite, I am faring comparatively well and trying to make the best of it, wearing it like a black badge of courage.

--One of those dead doves somehow got frozen into my beard.

--Worse yet, I haven’t been able to focus any attention on my novel, which was my primary reason for taking this vacation. Should my unfinished manuscript be found on my corpse and become a cause of speculation, I would like to disclose that in the last chapter, I planned on revealing that it was the Mummy's parrot who stole the senator's watch.

--On the plus side, through all of this, I've invented something I'm calling "Sport Deodorant."

That's about it. I've read it over a few times and there seems to be some information I'm missing. But I'm tired and it can't be that important, anyway.