When I left the apartment last night to meet Sri at the gym, Supa (via IM) said, "have fun."
And I said, "Cost of friendship: high."
What that means is "I don't want to go, but if I don't, Sri will stop liking me. And that would suck."
So I take a cold shower (don't ask... omg...) and get to the gym, late, as usual. Sri is talking to some cute-ish guy named Eliot. She is already covered in chalk. Next to her is a woman with crazy curly hair and startling blue eyes. She says, "Are you Nina?"
I guess I am Nina. Yes.
(I am still thinking about how much I would rather not be there, but I am also noticing the smell of the rock gym... sweat, chalk, happiness mixed with aggression and more chalk).
Curly says "Start climbing. Purple hands, any feet."
Sri, who is still furiously batting her eyelashes at Eliot, manages to give me a bit of a head wiggle. That means Curly's demands are sanctioned.
So up the wall I go.
Left foot, left hand, right hand. Right foot, match feet, switch feet, match hands. High step. Left reach... Cross over. And I am stuck. Totally stuck. I hang back, monkey like, and take a look around. I need a smaller step and will have to come down a bit and use a hold I had avoided. (More on avoiding holds later).
I jump off one hold from the top, having burnt my arms out during that monkey look around. Crazy curly, amused, says, "I am impressed by how long you can stay on the wall. And your attack is great. You just need to plan."
Curly, it turns out, works at the gym. She has been coaching Sri (and others, too) during my absence. She worked with us for two hours. Eliot climbed nearby and sometimes stood and watched us. He got Sri's number before we left (Sri!) and then we went to meet Bibi, Pax, and Mischa. And we talked about a) climbing and b) how bad Larry is in bed (not that I, personally, know anything about that... just saying).
Today, I am sore and hands are pretty ragged, and I remember why I love to climb: It is just too difficult to do half assed. It is also like being asleep. It turns down all the noise, shuts off my brain. If you have been tuning into my brain lately, you have probably thought at least once that it would be better to cut my head entirely off than to continue having my thoughts.
More climbing for me, obviously.
Today is my mother's birthday. If she had lived, she would be 64.
Ahem, and regarding avoiding holds: If you see a hold and test it and it feels all wrong, move your feet and get your other hand on it. The hold might not be a nice big brick of a thing, but from some other angle, it might work.
I can't really do it, though.
The trouble with some of you girls is that there is no angle from with I can approach you that will not involve me getting a good grip and offloading all my bad thoughts onto you - and completely crashing in the process. If I am not returning your 15 voice mails right now, it is because am not capable of pretending with you, and I know if I call you back, I will end up seeing you. And then I will start talking about it - and say unbelievably terrible things that help no one, least of all me. I'll be in touch when I am a) capable of being nice or b) am standing next to you staring at a bouldering problem. For now, that's the best I can do.