by Walter Chaw I use these trips to the Telluride Film Festival as year-markers: summaries and confessions sometimes filled with hope for the new year, although I find I live almost entirely in the past, in fear of the future, neglecting the present. I don't think this is an unusual malady (indeed, it might be the common malady), and shaking loose of it may be the pestilence that finally ends us and not any other. This year, I took a different route to Telluride, not through the canyon, but straight across the I-70 to Grand Junction, then south to the sheltered valley where Telluride sits. Partly I did this for the novelty of it (I haven't driven over Vail Pass since an accident I had there...can it be a decade ago already?), and partly out of wanting to pick up my friend Katrina from the Grand Junction airport to drive her down to meet her husband at the festival. Every time I go through the Eisenhower Tunnel, I remember that particular passage from The Stand and how, several years ago, I listened to its audiobook on the way up to a different Telluride. It was the first time I'd made it to the end of the novel. A die-hard fan of King's, I nevertheless find his fantasies difficult water to tread. Colorado is a beautiful state, though I worry that the lakes and rivers are looking as low as they're looking right now. I doubt I've ever seen them quite so dry.