hard places and sharp, sheer drops

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These sentences are quoted from 'Giovanni's Room' by James Baldwin:
<...> I did not want to know—not, anyway, from his mouth—that his flesh was as unregenerate as my own. The knowledge did not make me feel more like his son—or buddy—it only made me feel like an interloper, and a frightened one at that. He thought we were alike. <...> I did not want to think that my life would be like his, or that my mind would ever grow so pale, so without hard places and sharp, sheer drops. <-----Excess quote removed by moderator (Florentia52)----->
(The emphasis are mine)
The bold phrase above confuses me a bit. I'm dimly aware that it has something to do with the "distance" as the next sentence suggests ("He wanted no distance between us"). So what do "places" and "drops" refer to exactly?
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  • Dryan

    Senior Member
    English - Northeastern U.S.
    "without hard places and sharp, sheer drops" seems like it's a highly stylized way to say "dull and flat."
    In relation to someone's mind, this makes them seem unintelligent and uninteresting.
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