[23 April 2020> Archiving now back to summer of 1992, in Tucson, picking up where this journal left off. These entries are transcribed from this journal (8½ x 11"):]
June 27, 1992 [—Tucson, AZ]
A new journal. Big, fresh, like an empty chalkboard or a blank tape. Clear the slate. And such a nice one, reminds me of the one i had with 2-d gemstones on the cover, that i had from Argentina to Chile, that the border officer stared at intently and tried to poke his finger into. He thought it was really made of stone. But this isn't stone either, it's wood... tree-based anyway. And this isn't the cold Andes but the scorching desert. Summer in Tucson. Hot, dry and timeless. Day after day, blending into nights that are still too hot. Like being in a never-ending sauna. But so dry that the sweat is whisked away before it even leaves your pores. I am never sure about the date or time but usually am aware when Friday rolls around. This is the first Saturday i've spent this summer in Tucson. Figured I needed a day to reflect and just chill. I am taking refuge in an iced coffee at Café Quebec. Appropriately named as the chill factor in this place is a definite incentive. It's so cold in here you are unable to imagine the heat outside. And vice-versa. A few minutes out "there" and you can't grasp the concept of being too cold. Quebec is full of the same ol Saturday afternoon people... some guy in matching polyester shorts and lavendar Polo shirt and a sun visor, sewing. Yes, sewing. Trendy girls in junkshop dresses with bra straps showing, playing dice games. Nerdy black guy intent on his portable laptop. A white boy with a strange hat talking to this old Indian man in some strange language. The old Indian man has a permanent smile plastered on his face and a crackly laugh. He has a cheap sky-blue polyester sports coat and a red white and blue hat. This environment is just one in many that he easily adapts to. I am reading Almanac of the Dead by Leslie Marmon Silko. In the book Seese and Sterling are driving around Tucson in between drug deals and hunting down the old houses of Geronimo or John Dillinger. Details down to street names. Dillingers cabaña was on 2nd and Stone, she describes it all, in her one words "it was easy to imagine all the things happening when you were parked right there on the actual site." 2nd and Stone. 3 blocks from my current house. Now i'm gonna ride by that white house with the supposedly same dented trash can as in the magazine in Silko's book. And what am i in it? A new adaptation.
After bouncing 2 checks and dropping to –78 dollars i finally got my stipend check which doesn't mean much except that i will probably manage to spend more money. But in a sense it's a little more freedom. The condensation from my iced coffee keeps dripping onto this page. Summer in Tucson. Most everyone is gone. Not that it matters cuz i don't really miss anyone that much. Shaheen and Chawn will be around to climb with. Mark leaves to Australia next week. Jeff leaves to Guatemala. Tim leaves to Europe. Sather, Rusty and Brad are in South Dakota. Everyone is somewhere else. But i don't mind. I feel like I am holding down the fort. Enduring the heat that is scaring everybody else off. Almost a whole season has cycled since i've been here. Nice to go thru a whole cycle in one place, it's been a while. Unbearable nights laying on top of the sheets with the windows open. I guess [Zo—our bedder-½, who we'd broken up with] is here and i do miss here but i wouldn't call her. Yesterday i played Ultimate with Seth [Zo's new boyfriend] and Mark and the other club players. When they left they drove off in Zo's car. I ran into her a while ago her parting words were "don't be such a stranger." Like she's one to talk. And then there's [Maya—changing name for privacy]. Always somehow managing to invite herself over for some reason or another and then staying until 3 or 4 a.m. just doing nothing... her being afraid to leave. Afraid to be alone. And i don't want to be a part of what's keeping her from dealing with herself. On these long summer nights it would be too easy to do something impulsive, but my gut knows that would have disastrous results. She would dive into me and use me as an escape from whatever is she's trying to get away from. She already told [Brad—her ex] that she likes me. What did i do to deserve to get involved in this juvenile soap opera? Sleaze fest share and share alike, pass the buck around. Last night Maya found out about Sather and Brad... actually i found out to some extent. I didn't know they fooled around in the Dragoons on our camping trip last year... but there was "not really" penetration? What's that supposed to mean? Maya doesn't seem too crushed. She came by with Tim, with a big bottle of Mickeys in his hand, face glowing red with alcohol. She dyed her hair red and had a red polka dot dress on. They went to the D.P.C. but i didn't want to succumb to their underage antics. Dave's Big Deluxe. What's new? Went to the Chicago bar with Shaheen instead. All sorts of youngsters cruising Speedway. Parked in the parking lots lining Speedway—one long tailgate party. The Summit Hut parking lot full of suped-out VW bugs. Everybody's got their clique. It didn't take me more than an hour at Chicago bar to make feel too young. Sam Taylor's violin player rules, she had me in awe. But the clientele were no more than a curiosity. Groups of 35+ yr old white trash, getting loose and shaking their butts with a certain awkward self-consciousness that is embarrassing to even witness. Mark met us and we decided to play pool until some German boy in tight running shorts and a "fuck communism" shirt not only stole our spot but our quarters as well. It wasn't worth fighting over, we shrugged and just let him know what we thought of him. Michelle came in with this guy Nathan—a bearded somewhat older Brit. Michelle introduced him as her "big brother" and whispered for us to "size him up". I convinced Shaheen and Mark that this place was full of old white trash (not that there's anything wrong with that cuz someday I'll look for security in that) so we returned to my place and raided my refrigerator then hit D.P.C. Itsy Bitsy Spider was playing, a psycho-cyber punk jazzy thrash band. Quite different than Chicago bar. 12 year olds doing stage dives, mosh pit, no alcohol. Tim, Maya, Jeff, Leslie, etc were all there skanking around, obviously that they'd filled up on alcohol elsewhere. It was Shaheen's first time there and i think he was a little too conservative and mature to appreciate the entertainment value of this place. It's like he enters a place and calculates his prospects his prospects of getting laid and determines whether to stick around based on that. And he's so picky that he's probaly still a virgin. He didn't stick around for Dave's Big Deluxe. Nothing especially different about them. Maya kept putting ice cubes down my pants and saying she wanted to go up Mt Lemmon with me after the show. We went to Denny's with Jeff and Leslie instead and i managed to get myself dropped off before they continued on so i could get to sleep before 3 a.m.
The lunch hour has since come and gone here at Café Quebec. Maybe it's time to face that convection oven heat. Maybe time to hit some late afternoon matinee. Hmm. Maybe a poker game is in store.
June 28, 1992
Mark and I ended up seeing Delicatessen, brilliant film. It's a shame that thoughtful more creative films such as this go unnoticed while Batman Returns rakes in the big bucks. Afterwards we went over to my place for a sushi fest. Maya called the second i got home, drunk and depressed. So of course nice guy that i am i invite her over. I made sushi rolls of cucumber, avocado and sesame and we doused them in tamari and wasabe, it was better than drugs. Maya's got this thing about going up to Mt Lemmon and looking at stars so we, or i should say i, since i was the 1 who relented, went to Mark's since he has the telescope. We went to Maya's where everybody was over partying it up. Tim, with his alcoholic glow and a bottle of Mickey's permanently glued to his hand leading a chorus in the Canadian national anthem. They were watching Little Mermaid and they all knew the words. Maya was antsy to leave. Went up to Mark's. I drove cuz she pretended like she was drunk, or just "in a weird mood" and couldn't drive. Mark's telescope wasn't so great but we laid on our backs anyways. I had intentions of getting to bed before 1 a.m to go climbing the next day, so i basically had to kick Maya out. I was just getting to sleep when she called back, all in tears. What can i do? It's not enough in this world to just be a nice guy and go with the flow. Sometimes it's cruel to be nice.
Went climbing with Sean. It wasn't that weird being at Windy Pt [last time we were there we saw 2 people get struck by lightning], our first time up there since the lightning episode, but it was sunny. We went to do Nancy's Crack. Sean did it fairly easily but i had problems with the opening move for some reason, peeled off a few times before doing it. Then we did Ego Trip or whatever that climb is next to Making Muffins. I did it and cleaned it and then Shaheen went up and was doing okay but suddenly peeled off and his leg got caught on the rock and he flipped upside-down while yelling "falling". He didn't fall that far but slapped the cliff with his back. "That's cool" he said, enjoying the view of Tucson upside-down, hanging 60 ft in the air. But he was pretty shaken up and shaky for the rest of the climb. Then we did some vertical 5.7. The first bolt was 15 or 20 ft off the ground, rocky uneven ground. I had a few feet to get to the 1st bolt but couldn't see the next move and looked down and the landing didn't look so good on the sharp jagged rocks. Why risk a broken ankle or worse, especially as neither of us has health insurance. We decided to go down in time to play Ultimate. Chowed spinach, cantaloupe, banana soy shakes then saw Delicatessen again, this time with Maya, Sean and Mark. Went over to Maya's afterwards. Shit, i don't know what's going on. Sometimes i'm attracted to her and that's what's scary. My gut says "not!". I know i would get into one of those confining relationships, where her well-being is contingent on me. In a sense i'm already in that situation. My practical side abides by that. But these hot summer nights build so much sexual tension. She's always giving me those eyes, talking about Hotel New Hampshire where this brother and sister are attracted to each other and then finally overcome it by having wild sex for a whole day. Then she said, "That's all i need". How am i supposed to respond? Derek the realist, the rationalist with a hard-on that won't go away. Long periods of silence where we kind of just look at each other. I know it doesn't work that way. It's a trap, with sex as bait. In her yearbook she's miss popular, on the student council, etc. Field hockey, all the clubs. Always smiling, more conservative looking. And this was all only 2 years ago. All a facade she says. Now she is being more honest with herself. Now she looks terrible in comparison, no sleep, stressed out, no sun, no exercise... no fun. Superficial things i realize. Sometimes i have naive romantic notions of being the one that will set her free. The one that will bring her into bloom. I'd be so good for her. But that'd involved changing her, and that would be bad. It would be so easy to just touch the nape of her neck and watch her collapse. Momentary pleasure with more clinging pain as after effect? Collapsing into what? My sailboat? Maybe i'm too fucking analytic. When she finally left (with no goodbye cuz she was being all pissy) i wasn't very sleepy, still hot as hell. I laid on top of my futon and dozed a bit, woke up in a sweat. I heard a gunshot, ringing clearly in the Tucson night sky. Scared the shit out of me. I almost called Maya but it was like 2 a.m. Couldn't get back to sleep after that.
Monday morning. Chawn finally came back from 10 days in Carlsbad. Everybody was going up to Mt Bigelow—a kind of open house to look at the telescope. It would be a shame to pass Windy Point without ropes, wouldn't it? So we went and got them and drove in the hot desert sun in Chawn's open-aired jeep up the Catalina Highway. Gary, Jesus and Danny and Jacky (J's kids) were already up there at the telescope. We climbed the 10 or 15 meter tower and Ron gave us the tour. Pretty cool, Ron's got a weird life. Going up there for 3 or 4 days at a time by himself, way up in the forest. Kind of like The Shining. So we checked that out and ate our picnic, then cruised to the top of mt Bigelow and climbed the Watchtower, then cruised to Windy Point. Beautiful day, Chawn led Hitchcock's Pinnacle, a fairly easy 5.7 but I'd say it's rated R. Only 2 bolts, the last 20 ft is unprotected. But it was really cool up there, with all the tourists below knowing that the only way up was to climb. Then we went and top-roped Old Man, a long 5.9. Chawn brought snoopy so it was king of a pain since we had to drag her around (she was blind) and she whined a lot. Old Man was a really fun climb. At one point i had this hand jam and was looking down, completely vertical 80 or 100 ft cliff, completely laid back, with the sunset over Tucson and my adrenalin pumping.
belaying at Campell Cliffs
July 5—Grand Canyon
Tuesday i also flaked for part of the day and went to check out Campbell Cliffs. Climbing is getting to be an addiction. Becoming increasingly flakey at SCLERA. [Santa Catalina Laboratory for Experimental Relativity by Astrometry, where we worked]. We were thinking of what to do with a 3 day weekend coming up when, Susanna [our ex from years before] called on Wednesday, she was going to Bryce Canyon w/ Salvo [new fiancee], via Havasu, wanted me to meet them. But how can i with no car? Then Maya calls, "what are you doing this weekend? Let's go to the Grand Canyon." So figured it was destiny. And here we are. At work thursday i was wondering what the fuck i was getting myself into, seemed inevitable we'd end up sleeping together. Mark was going to Australia so Maya and I went out to lunch with him. Then i packed, babelfish, towel, etc.
[At which point i started a back + forth dialogue w/ Maya, alternating between both of us.]
Maya: We went to the library to get maps.
Derek: Not that we needed guidance.
M: After packing our necessary necessities, we left our guidance at Café Quebec with our Rummy 500 score on the back (Derek won.. my addition).
D: Maya had romantic notions that the ex-convict busboy at Café Quebec might scam on her, but instead sum slimey middle-aged guy sat facing her with tight tennis shorts and no underwear, his legs purposely spread so his balls were hanging out.
M: After 2 iced coffees and Derek lecturing me on smoking, i had abandoned hope of hooking up with the lustful busboy, so we each put our first $20 into the communal bandaid container and went to the gas station.
[at which point in the journal we made a sketch based on the bugs on the windshield of Maya's 69 bug:]
Derek: After stopping at Dairy Queen.
Maya: At Thunderbird gas station in Phoenix, Derek first touched my feet.
D: Not an intentional affection gesture, we were noting that they looked like Sissy's thumbs in Even Cowgirls Get the Blues.
M: Let's got back to Dairy Queen, where Derek asked if i was intending to seduce him.
D: The prospects terrified me and i was having doubts about the trip.
M: Derek fell asleep in back while i listened to Smashing Pumpkins.
D: We stopped at some rest area where Maya made a pass on me.
M: I put my head on his shoulder as a friendly gesture.
M: He offered to tie me up when we got into bed in Williams.
D: I didn't offer, i threatened to because i wanted to get some sleep.
[this sort of sexually repressed and immature teasing continues for a another page or so... to the extent that i had to go to the bathroom to relieve myself and then slept backwards in the bed, taking after Leopold + Molly Bloom in Ulysses]
Maya: At breakfast I didn't know what to say.
Derek: We were supposed to meet Susanna + Salvo there at 8:30.
M: But they never showed up so i beat him in Rummy. He ate my breakfast and we started for the Grand Canyon.
D: I wasn't surprised they didn't show up.
M: So we went to the Grand Canyon, paid $10 to get in, almost broke down and hoped we would get kidnapped by the convict.
[at which point we inserted a wanted poster of said ex-convict]
D: It was July 4th and there fucking lame tourists everywhere.
M: We got in a shuttle bus with the old couple we sat next to at breakfast.
D: The sight of the Grand Canyon made me horny.
M: If i had known Derek would be more attracted to the canyon then me i would have just bought a postcard rather than drive him up here only to have him humiliate me.
D: I just wanted to be clear where we stood.
M: Sometimes clarity makes the situation worse.
D: We went East on 64, it was deserted because they had just opened it after having it closed because of the convict on the loose.
M: All there were vacant stands with signs that said "Nice Indians" and "Jewelry Cheap".
D: We stopped at the Little Colorado river canyon and walked to the edge in blistering heat.
M: Then we stopped for cold stuff.
D: Maya's cigarettes are a big turn-off.
M: Turn-offs are a good thing, right?
D: After a brief stop in some god forsaken place because poor Miriam [the 69 bug] exploded hot oil all over her rear end, we are now on the road again.
M: A redneck trooper with a cowboy hat pulled up behind us and rather then offer to help he asked to search the car.
D: We said sure, but on what grounds.
M: He said he smelled Marijuana. Ha, obviously we were a bit ripe.
D: We told him it was sweat, 100°+ and no air-conditioning!
M: He searched the car anyway and didn't find anything.
D: But he gave me a ticket for "leaving car door open in traffic way" (even tho the road was totally desolate). What a prick.
M: We missed Salvo and Susanna so had to regroup to figure out what to do.
D: We were somewhat disillusioned by the heat, the fact that Miriam was acting up and all the driving we'd have to do to rush through Utah.
M: We decided to go to Cameron and eat lunch then experience Winslow and the petrified forest.
D: We took refuge in this cool trading post restaurant run by Native Americans and had just gotten our food when who should show up but Susanna. [Remember, this was before cell phones, so this was a weird coincidence.]
M: With Susanna's kick in the butt and Salvo's map, we decided to go to Utah anyways.
D: Synchronicity and the induced second wind.
M: Whatever, all i know.. [trails off with arrows to next page] ------*
D: Yikes, what a pleasant "Surprise". Now (2 days later) we are stuck in Surprise, Arizona. The bug started bucking and died in the middle of fucking nowhere.
M: I want my mommy. Sorry you won't be back for Ultimate.
D: Maya looks a little too hot to comment, we determined the cause of failure to be the fuel pump, but whatever. Still in the middle of nowhere. We were contemplating what to do when we saw a copper and flagged him down.
M: The cop got us to Surprise and dropped us off at some measily looking Ⓚ. We called my parents, but nobody was home.
D: We scrounged around for calling cards for credit on them. It was hot as hell (123°) and we were next to a big barbed wire fence and railroad tracks. The only shade was the phone booth.
M: We finally got a hold of Catherine and she called Iggy [who also happened to be Zo's ex] who bitched and moaned but came to pick us up in his Land Rover and a new fuel pump.
D: And now back to our feature presentation.
-----* M: the echo cliffs and the Colorado river were really intense but the batteries in our radio ran out and we actually had to talk.
D: We drove on, Salvo hot on our trail, into the land of Mormons. It seemed to change instantly the second we crossed the border. We made it to some crude sounding town called Panguitch and got the last room at the last hotel with vacancy. A double was $37 a night and a 4 person was $40 so we took the 4-person room.
M: It was awkward, but what can i say.
D: Awkward for you? Even more so for me, but i thrive off awkward situations.
M: Well, they were watching a dumb show and talking to each other the whole time.
D: Woke up and Salvo was up so we woke up the girls and went to breakfast.
M: A nice mormon boy waited on us.
D: We headed out to Bryce canyon, the scenery was beautiful, but not much to say about that, you had to be there, or take pictures.
S + S hiking in Bryce
M: I feel like i grew up with Derek & Susanna.
D: We walked the Fairyland trail, felt like some sort of lunar landscape, all sorts of colors and weird rock formations.
M: We ate before we went to Zion, in a restaurant with feathers and black silk screen eagle pictures.
D: The waitress had feathered-back hair full of hairspray, coverup caked over her acne and high-top tennis shoes with rhinestones. When i asked what kind of soup they had she wrinkled her nose and said "it's gross, has lima beans and vegetables."
M: After the pitiful grocery store of Orderville we left for the great bulges and canyons.
[here's the next page in our writing, followed by an inserted ticket + the removal notice they stuck to the broken-down bug in Surprise, AZ]
Derek: OK, we're back in the bug moving down 93 full speed. Ignacio our savior pulled up at Ⓚ in his Land Rover with Chester Cheetah as his co-pilot.
Maya: After Deja Vu was fulfilled, let's get back to Vegas.
D: Vegas in it's splendor and decadence. The thrill of it died the second we entered.
M: After the heat and frustration subsided natural wonder took on a whole new insight.
D: it was pure hell. Traffic backed up. We lost sight of Susanna and Salvo and then tried to be sly and loop around the opposite side looking for Caesar's Palace.
M: When the great blue neon edifice appeared we got tube-sighted and turned one cross street too soon and got launched back on the freeway.
D: There were no exits until we got to our original point of entry, urrgghhh!
M: This time we were more patient and managed to zero in on our target.
D: We stumbled out, sweaty and weary, still in hiking boots and grimy clothes and backpacks and passed through the decadence of the Caesar's casino.
M: After numerous encounters with the registration desk we finally came up with no room, and no messages for us.
D: We walked the strip down to the Aladin, they had rooms but they were $80 so we decided to be rational and hit Denny's to contemplate.
D: it was at Denny's that i realized Maya was sorta special. She had glittery eyelashes and a radiant smile and was in full control of the matter at hand.
M: I've never seen Derek actually laugh and smile.
D: Why were we laughing?
M: S-O-P-I-C-L-i-s-m. Something like that.
D: She was in survival mode, ordered French toast and eggs and hashbrowns. But then she hardly ate anything.
M: He on the other hand wanted to splurge and got the shrimp and it had a really weird piece of toast.
D: We had called Caesar's and left a message for Susanna and Salvo to meet us at Denny's but they didn't show up. I had romantic notions of sleeping on the lawn in front of Denny's, but...
M: Where are the cards?
D: On the way back to Caesar's we laid down on the conveyor belt and slept until we reached the end.
Back home, back to monologue. We did a little gambling in Caesars, basically put all our spare change in stupid machines. The consumption, decadence and waste of resources was making me so sick it was almost a novelty. It was around 2 a.m. we decided to split. We figured we'd go a little ways out til found a place to stay but there was nothing. We drove over the Hoover Dam in the dark, very eerie and Science Fictionesque. We ended up all the way in Kingman and finally found a room in one of those Indian motels. It was 4:30 or so so figured we could sleep 6 hours then split. There were 2 rooms, each with a bed, so each had our own. We didn't get to sleep until the sun was coming up. Got up at 10:30 and ate at some trucker's diner, i had veggie stir fry and Maya had fish n chips. Then we were off and the rest is history... oil exploded all over the hood, then the bug died in the middle of nowhere and a cop gave us a ride to "Surprise," AZ. When Ignacio got there w/ his cheetah plush and we went back to the bug, it started right up. Evidently when it gets this hot (it was 123°), these old bugs experience "vapor lock," basically the gas turns to vapor before it even gets thru the fuel pump. We chilled at Ignacio's then took him out to Thai food at "Daas" and it was excellent. The drive home was strange. Maya was acting strange, seemed she was coming down off a high and bracing herself for the reality of Tucson. She seemed to be thinking of Brad and getting miserable. I think she was thinking she would hook up with me romantically and make her decision easier. I was getting really bad allergies and my eyes were swollen. Neither of us could drive we were so tired. Switched twice. Towards the end i was driving and Maya went to sleep and i was so tired that i had to douse water on my face every couple of minutes and stick my head out the window. Maya was back in her depressed state, afraid to deal with herself and "being around Brad" stuff. So i told her to stay at my place. I felt it would smooth the transition. It was damn hot and i couldn't sleep. Maya had to wake up at 7 a.m. (we went to bed at 2 or 3 a.m.) and i couldn't get back to sleep so came to work and ate breakfast then crashed int he student union. Now back to reality.
July 10, 1992
What have i got myself into? Where is the summer going? I guess the main thing that is eating at me is the absence of spirituality. Work is terribly boring. Spent days figuring out how to make a post file and ends up there's a glitch in the program. All so un-user friendly. I found out today i didn't get the NASA thing. Oh well, i tried. Dr. Hill will still fund me, so in a sense, i'll be less pressured, but underpaid (only ½ time). Hacking around on the computer is fun, it's this holistic network, the information age full blown, i have all this information at my fingertips. If only all my friend had UNIX accounts, there'd be no use for telephones.
The first monsoon hit monday night. Driven by an offshore hurricane. I was driving to a softball game with Sean and Gary and the wind picked up to about 50 mph and blowing shit all over then raining so hard we had to pull over. Then we had to shift the car around because the wind was coming broadside and sandblasting our car with all the things it was carrying, powerlines knocked over, shop windows blown out, 2 feet of water in the street. It was cleansing, purifying, purging the city of its sins.
... Maya just came and kidnapped me, first to a dumb Psychopanda party and then here to Denny's. She is reading poetry. She split her fries and gave me ½, dipped in ranch dressing.
[And again, switches to a dialogue, mostly in her hand-writing]
Derek: The carrot in front of the donkey?
Maya: That's right, the ass is always left behind.
D: Likes it in the behind?
M: From behind you fool.
D: Likes what from behind?
M: The cart.
M: Jesus, I need a smoke.
And it ends there. I'm playing with fire. I like Maya, it's just too weird with the interconnections and past history of this incestuous circle of friends. I don't want to be the excuse for her to officially break up with Brad and i'm still not totally over Zo, and Maya knows it and seems jealous anytime i bring Zo up. Right now it's raining and reminds me of Mexico. It's so unamerican anyways. Thursday night we went to Papago Springs cave. Me, Chawn, Eric, Peter, Dr Schultz and Deb. Cool little cave full of rabbit holes. One was so small that only Deb could fit thru, only after she took off her pants! There were fireflies when we came out, lightning in the distant dark clouds. We made it to the Wagoneer before it started pouring. I'm tired as shit.
July 13, 1992
Saturday we had high hopes of climbing. Woke up to pouring rain. Maya calls and says "whats up?" She rented climbing shoes and was gonna come climbing with us. Calls back and forth between Maya and Chawn trying to figure out what to do. Caving? Hiking in the rain? Matinee? We ended up just meeting at Coffee Etc. Met George and Joe there, they were looking for a house. It was clear when we got out of Coffee Etc. so we decided to go climbing. Went back to get our stuff and on the way back to Chawn's a bit dark storm front came from the north. Then it started to pour. Hmm. Hung out some more letting the rain do its thing. I fell out of a tree. We ended up going bowling. Then to a terrible matinee. When we got out it was still light out and clear, so we went to Campbell Cliffs and got a few short climbs in. It wasn't that bad. Went to bed early. Sunday morning woke up early and the weather was nice so we went to Windy Point. The first thing we did was "Patting the Biscuit" (next to making muffins), so called cuz of the pool of water that you unknowingly stick your hand in (with chalk all over them). It ends up that "Biscuit" (my first lead) is a 5.8. Chawn led it this time. But Maya couldn't finish it. Then we did Slippery When Wet (5.6). Not only my first lead placing pro, but our first multi-pitch. I led the first pitch. I wasn't that scared considering the exposure. Then again, it's a 5.6. Trust those stoppers with your life. A little piece of metal you wedge in a crack. Sewing up the zipper. The belay stance was a little awkward. Maya got up after some struggle and tied into the same sling i was on. Chawn quickly came up. It was a bit confusing. Everyone tied to this and that, rope everywhere. Maya didn't want to do the second pitch so we sent her down on rappel. Chawn led the second pitch. It was more of a continuous crack in a dihedral. He took a long time but did it. It was fun being way up there. Ate lunch then i led First Lead (5.6)—a chimney leading into an off-width (barely) crack. I had to be creative with gear placements. There was a lot of drag. The top was crumbling run out. It seemed the whole mountain was about to go. I belayed Chawn, then Maya, but she didn't make it up. On the way down Miriam the bug was acting up again so we stopped and ate Italian food. We got to the parking lot at Coffee Etc. and Maya turned the car off and that was it. Luckily we still had the extra fuel pump. I replaced it there in the parking lot, it was a pain. This fuel pump was different than what i had on my '66 bug. The little lever thing was further in and the input and output valves were different. I had to move the carburetor to get it in. When i got it back it still didn't work. Even if we poured gas straight into the carburetor. So we had to get a ride with Chawn. Worked all day, still trying to figure out MARC. At 5:00 i rode up to 1st and Glenn but they didn't have the fuel pump i needed. I got a hose in case i got the gas lines reversed. I didn't. Thought about it for a bit, tracing everything. How does a fuel pump run? Not on electricity. On the engine. Took the pump off and pushed the lever and gas squirted out. Ok, pump is working. Gas gets to the pump. The rod must not be reaching this lever. Called Dale, the VW man and he confirmed this. [followed by this map:]
By this time i had to ride back to campus to get a ride from Lisa to the softball game. Missed her, but found out they had a fuel pump at Checkers on Fort Lowell and Campbell so i hustled there and got it, but it looked sketchy. The lever was way up there and the outlets were facing into the engine. They insisted this was the one. I tried it then rode back to return it. Tried everything to no avail. Have to wait til tomorrow to get the right fuel pump.
Annoying as this all was, i distinctly remember standing in that scorching parking lot with no shirt on sweating, covered with gas and grease and whistling and singing.... yes, i caught myself singing and said, wow, i must be happy. It caught me by surprise. I really am happy!
What a slacker. I can't even catch up with journal entries. The fuel pump saga continues. After work i started to head up to Barney's and on the way i ran into Zo which was cool cuz she tried to call me the night before. She gave me a ride to Barneys which was a good thing cuz it was way on the other side of town, across the freeway on Prince. She didn't know about my roadtrip with Maya (or did a good job of not showing it, which was likely for Zo). It was nice seeing her and not feel weird about it and she seemed to enjoy my company. Then she took me over to Coffee Etc. where the car was. She probably just assumed that since i was fixing Maya's car that something was going on between us. Replaced the fuel pump in a few minutes, poured gas in the carb and it started right up. Since i now had the bug at my disposal, i went over to Play It Again Sports and got cleats and knee pads for less than $10. Then went to Ultimate. Then went to Bob's and splurged on climbing gear. Went back to Zo's to get my bike. Then informed Maya that she had to take me out to dinner for my services.
Started Yoga on tuesday. Just Maya and I showed up and the instructor Bill [Counter]. It felt good to stretch my sore muscles and do the breathing exercises, i can see getting into this stuff more. It makes you feel vibrant and "there". Seems really good for climbing too. Lots of balance. Wednesday was poker night at Jesus's. Gary has been really down, completely taken by Michele. He wanted to marry her, devote his life to her, etc. Thinks he fucked up, "i'm a total loser etc." And Maya is still giving me problems, always wanting to come over. Last night she came over all happy cuz she met a "fuck toy" at Café Quebec that she was planning to have sex with on Sunday (as if this was supposed to make me jealous?). But she was giving me weird cat in heat vibes, so i said "look, we'll play chess, if you win i'll have sex with you, if i win then you have to leave." I beat her in 5 moves.
Thursday afternoon Chawn and i took off for Campbell Cliffs. Then Friday we let at noon to Windy Point. I led Party Pooters, the 5.8 on the other side of Ego Donor, which was scary and a bit hard cuz it was vertical and i had to make placements. Chawn went to get some food at the car afterwards, the sun was shining through and i was laying on a rock when it suddenly struck me that i was alone, and where i was. I looked down and saw Tucson from the perspective of a traveler. I was far removed. I need to be by myself more often, otherwise i get caught up in the hum-drum of everyday drama. Chawn came back and we did Ego Donor. I left a lot of blood on the rock, but it was a lot easier than the first time. Then Chawn led Making Muffins, supposedly a 5.7, but he peeled off, not once, but 3 times. I caught him fairly quickly each time. The rock is not vertical, but it's at a weird angle and all slopey and the surrounding cliffs at a different angle. Kind of like climbing a Picasso painting. Saturday Chawn flaked so i woke up and cleaned up this shithole i call home, painted the cupboards, well-caulked them actually to keep the cockroaches out. Sealed them in. Also fixed my bike, put brakes on it, thought it doesn't work much better.
Sunday went all the way up to Rappel rock with Chawn and Time. It was still fairly hot at 9,000 feet. We were standing on top and i looked over at Lemmon rock and jokingly said, hey look at the Bighorn sheep on top, jokingly cuz it was so far away. But as i stared it began to move and i could make out it's features. Tom and Chawn couldn't see what i was looking at. The sheep was in the middle of nowhere on top of a spring crag. The down climb to the bottom sucked. We had to go through some shitty ravine and once we got to the bottom it was a pain to find the route we wanted, so ended up doing The Standard Route. I led the first 2 pitches, fairly easy. Chawn led the next pitch leading down into the gulley connecting it up with Black Quacker. The belay stance was iffy, at the bottom of an overhang with no ledge. I tied the rope to the back of Tom who cleaned the route, then "pulled" the rope down cuz there was no way they could have gotten the rope to me otherwise. And to top it off we had decided to drag all this crap up the rock, including Chawn's cooler. They had to pull while i pulled from my end to make sure it didn't get hung up. When i got there it was complete pandamonium. Chawn was clipped into bolts and attached to my rope. Tom was clipped to Chawn's sling, hanging below him, belaying on Chawn's rope. The cooler and my pack were dangling from Tim. I had to clip in, but first Chawn had to get on belay from Tom so i could use his slings and Tom was looped thru this so would have fallen free if i unclipped Tom so i put Tom on belay whilst unclipping Chawn. Then put Chawn on belay, etc. Finally he rounded the overhang onto a field of chickenheads. Tom followed and i was getting really pissed just hanging there with all this shit hanging from me and when i tried to pull up Chawn's rope it was wedged and wouldn't come free. Finally they sent the rope down and i sent the pack and cooler up (with much guidance and frustration cuz it kept getting caught on the overhang). Then i had to be lowered down to where Chawn's rope was caught. The knot on the end was wedged in a crack. I got it out but was too annoyed to coil it on belay so i quickly wrapped it up and threw it over my shoulder then climbed back up that 5.7 basically with one hand. I kept having to adjust the rope so it wouldn't fall off my shoulders and i also had Chawn's pack on my back. I got to the overhang and started to traverse around but the rope but the rope was getting caught and i couldn't see the belayer and had to yell to be heard. If i fell there i would have pendulumed majorly but i got slack and threw my weight around til i finally dislodged it and climbed around. The rest of the climb was all on a field of chickenheads. On the last pitch i tied the cooler to my ass and climbed that way. It was funny, funnier once we were rounding the top i guess. Tucson was hazy in an orange sunset. We ate our food and chilled on top.
Monday morning 8:00 i was lassoed by Dr Hill and Paul. Everything with the telescope is in disarray and the wanted me to document or basically map out all the circuit boards and wiring to troubleshoot it. Just when i was getting done with the finite element analysis stuff. Oh well, it's fun, except it's hard trying to understand the logic of a bunch of people who aren't there to ask questions. It also might cut into my Yosemite time. Zo called and left a friendly message on my machine monday afternoon. Hmm. I call her back and ends up her and Seth split ways. She said she broke up with for reasons that were too involved to get into over the phone. Part of me was excited thinking maybe she wanted to get back together with me, but my rational half is thinking haven't i learned my lesson? That we're incompatible. But my right brain is still snagged, hook, line and sinker. No matter how much rationalizing i do i would be too weak to say no to her. That is, even if she wanted to get back together, i'm probably dreaming. She wanted to go with me to Wyse Monkey on Thursday. Tuesday I ended up seeing Man Trouble with Maya, worse piece of shit band on the planet. Afterwards i was telling her about Zo and she was annoyed, saying i was still hung up on her and i didn't disagree. I said what do you care, you just had sex with that Chad guy the night before and she got all annoyed and stormed off. I went home to sleep but she called at 1 a.m. saying calling me a fucking asshole, that i was intentionally trying to rub it in, and i wasn't saying anything, still in delerium ½ asleep and she's bitching and becoming pathetic and irrational, saying, "you're being such a dick, i want to know where we stand" and i said i was being honest all along, that we never stood anywhere and that where we are is where we'll ever be. I never had feelings for her and never said i did. I guess i'm purposely being harsh on her to protect myself, so she won't like me.
Been working a lot trying to get this work done. Road map to the sun. Yesterday played ultimate in the rain and was invited to the tournament in Albuquerque.
Aren't these summer monsoons lovely?
July 26, 1992—Albuquerque, NM
New Mexico has a lot of clouds. Billowing humungus fluffy clouds that encircle you on the horizon. We are leaving Albuquerque now back to Tucson. Listening to S. O'Connor... "the Phoenix from the flame"... New Mexico is not really desert. Not in the sense that Tucson is. But it has the same vastness, the same emptiness. The same sky, and billowing cotton candy clouds. Instead of saguaros and cactus there's grassland or scrubby piñon. Big empty plains that roll ever so slightly making them seem even bigger. The life is all sucked into the clouds that feed the grass in violent thunderstorms. That's what i remember most from my last trip through New Mexico about 8 years ago. The thunderstorms and clouds, makes you realize how much we take things like clouds for granted.
Wednesday was poker night. I lost $6 then left after Nitesh was dealt a 3 sixes... took it as a sign, satan, satan, satan! Thursday i was thinking i couldn't go to Albuquerque cuz i had too much shit to do, in order to get ready for the Yosemite trip. I had to finish the road map to the telescopes electronics by friday. I think we finally decided to take Chawn's jeep to Baja, go up to L.A. then fly to S.F., snag mom's car and go to Yosemite and up north. Fly back to L.A. get his car and head back. All in less than 3 weeks. Kevin's implicated now. So things were getting hectic trying to arrange that, calling between Kevin, Susanna, Chawn and Mom. Then Shaheen calls says he wants to go to Albuquerque but he's in the same situation as me, pressed for time so wants to do an abbreviated trip. I decided to go as long as we left Friday night or Saturday morning and left the earliest possible on Sunday. It was chaos calling between Shaheen, Lisa, Jack and Greg trying to figure out how, where and when we were going. I was supposed to go to the Palm Rock with Zo but i flaked.
Friday afternoon Maya called wanting to go to lunch. She's gone completely over the edge. Sunday night she fucked that Chad guy. Tuesday she was modeling for Chad and his friend Bill and she ended up fooling around with Bill. And ends up the ex-convict bus boy that works at Quebec is friends with both of them. They all took mushrooms on Thursday and she fooled around with the busboy. I'm so glad we never got together. She looked like shit when i went to see her, all strung out and unhealthy, reeking of cigarettes. Not sure what i can do to help, she just doesn't care. I feel partly responsible, like she's doing this in reaction to me (why else is she so keen to tell me all this?) trying to provoke a reaction out of me, or to break her infatuation with me. Or could it be she just needs to be validated? To prove she can get what she wants, that she can get people to like her. Poor lost soul. She's dug a big hole for herself and i'm not sure i can help bring her out, i only make things worse.
After work on Friday came home and quickly packed and we left Tucson at 8 or 9 pm in Lisa's car, me Shaheen and Lisa. We drove for about 6 hours. I drove the 12 pm --> 3 a.m. leg and decided we may as well stop in Socorro, where we got a room for $20 (single) but i lucked out (row sham bo) and got the bed. We asked for a 8:00 wake-up call but when they called our watch said 7. On top of it all we lost an hour coming into New Mexico. We split without breakfast. Made it to the fields just in time. Jack, Jeff, Adam, Greg and Danny were there along with 4 other guys from Austin. We called ourselves "T and A" (Tucson and Austin). We played 4 games right away. We lost them all. One game (Las Cruces) we were ahead 9-4 but still lost. We had a by for an hour so cut across town to the see the girls play. It started raining. Dark clouds and lightning on the horizon. Went back to play Santa Fe. It was cold and rainy. My ankle was really hurting me after the fourth game but i guess a little rest helped. We had a 9-2 lead but then they caught up and we were losing 9-10 but then we got a really lucky bomb and won, finally. Then we had to play Burbank who were one of the best, besides St. Louis who were shutting everyone out. We managed to get 5 points against Burbank. The game before Burbank played St Louis and they had a big brawl. Not very ultimate like. They eat too many hamburgers. After our last game (6 one-hour games) things got hectic, everybody planning to do this and that so i decided to just crawl in back of somebody's car and let fate lead the way. There was like 4 cars all following each other through red lights and no one really knew where they were going. We'd stop at Ⓚ to make phone calls. Stop at markets for beer, stop for gas, stop at teller machines in this big hectic caravan passing potato chips out the windows, running back and forth, eventually to a Holiday Inn. We got 2 rooms for like 12 or 14 people. We all headed for the hot tub and pool. Not everybody could fit. Food was definitely in order after our showers. Ronnie mentioned Thai and i was definitely into that and we were about to go but there was a conflict of interests, when others wanted to go to Olive Garden to carbo load. So it was just me, Lisa, Amy and Ronnie that went to a Thai place downtown, hip spot with a bunch of other ultimate players. So hip the kitchen was overworked and they had to turn us back. So we ended up at some crappy "fajita grill" place. We were all spaced out and tired and hungry. We went to an "ultimate" party after. Jose Cuervo had rented out a sports bar for the event and were serving free beer. We didn't stay long cuz we were all tired. Went back to the room and staked out a spot on the floor. At first Sean, Dave, Lisa and I fell asleep only to have Jeff, Greg, and Chris Gishey come in 15 minutes later and wake us up. Did the shuffle with Chris so she could sleep near the alarm clock. They kept making a lot of noise and drinking beer. I woke early when Chris left. Creeped back into my original spot and stole her pillow [strange to read this now cuz months later we would end up dating Chris but at this point we didn't even know her]. Greg and i got up first and realized it was 9:15. First thing he did was reach for his pipe, wake and bake. Greg + Olive are total stoners. We managed to make it to the field by 10:00 (without breakfast). But we were nowhere near playing. Our team wasn't fully there and the other team (Albuquerque) wasn't there at all. Sat around for 2 hours warming up and stretching before they finally showed up. We lost again. I dropped a throw to me in the end zone and was feeling pretty shitty so didn't want to play much. And now we're there and there's a storm in the distance and now it's time to just look.
Dream [that we didn't log in our dream journal until now]: i was reading someone else's journal. It was very illegible and i was skipping lines. Then i was thinking that's probably what somebody would do with mine. I was walking home and i had a blind person's cane and was imagining what it would be like to be blind. I saw my landlord and was embarrassed to think i was pretending to be blind. I started waving the cane around like it was a conductors baton or magic wand. All the people in this fancy marbled floored apt lobby were saying "look there he is, wow i wonder what he does?" They were all boring old farts that never left the apartment. The lobby was full of pianos, i started to play one with the baton but somebody was playing another one nearby. I needed to go up a floor. The stairs didn't connect because it was an all girls floor. I pushed the elevator button with my baton and waited for the elevator with lots of other people dressed for church.
July 29, 92 — New Moon
Monday after work went to Gates Pass and almost got up that 5.10 bouldering problem. Amazing blood red sunset, lightning, dark clouds that sprinkled on us but didn't let loose. Tuesday morning went to yoga and really enjoyed it. I definitely want to do more of that shit. It makes me feel vibrant and relaxed. Especially when followed by lentils and rice, and a carrot, strawberry and spinach juice. Tuesday evening did the league ultimate thing. Basically the same turnout divided into 4 groups. If Adam had shown up earlier we might have won the first game. We won the second game. After the tournament i have a lot more confidence and probably improved a lot. I went back and ate more lentils and broccoli when Maya calls to see if want to go to coffee with her and Zo. Anything for an uncomfortable situation. So we go to Quebec and it was cool. All of Maya's "fuck toys" (as she calls them) were there but she didn't introduce them and they didn't say anything to us. Then Zo calls Tim and he meets us there, she left with Tim (after leaving him alone w/ me to go smoke w/ Maya, at which point he started sweating profusely and fumbling for small talk). Maya and i played cribbage and then i noticed Mark Levine was sitting there next to us. Maya starts reading all her poetry to me and telling me how she quit her job to write poetry and how she wants to publish a book of her poems. Talked to Mark a while as we were leaving. Guess I read him wrong, ends up he's a pretty nice guy, or maybe he's just more sincere when you catch him by himself. [+ then 2 decades later he would host our Ark Codex launch party in NYC!]
Today we got our tickets to S.F. for Saturday. $99 a piece RT, in reality $66 each way since one of the returns won't be used. After work rode to Shaheen's house up near Campbell and Ft Lowell (with all my climbing gear) and we went to Campbell Cliffs where we met up with Chawn and lethargic Tom. Did some quick little climbs with some traverses, free soloed that crack that we thought was 5.7 (more likely 5.6). It got dark and the thunder in the distance very bright and hot. It was pretty intense. It was raining pretty hard when we got down so we went to Coffee Etc. all you can eat pasta for $1.99. When i was riding home it had pretty much cleared up. I jumped onto Mountain Ave and the whole road was flooded with 1-2 feet of water, and it was flowing fast, almost knocking me over. I was loving it, flying through the water, too wet to care. The water was still warm from the heat left on the asphalt. I was high, the smells intense, like an olfactory milkshake, plants, dust and rain.
[onward chronologically to August of 1992 in Yosemite]