5cense Free will, whirlpools + Apache skiing while their eyes were watching the new physics (1993)


[5 June 2020> After the other day's excitement, not much going on the homefront besides the steady stream of gawkers coming to check out the scene + media doing interviews w/ our neighbors, helicopters still buzzing overhead, protesters still marching daily, etc. so we'll return to our archiving, back to the brown jouranl w/ the rave bee on it, where we ended 1992.]

Jan 2, 1993—Tucson
A New Year! Another orbit. That plane ride from Vegas was surreal and non-lucid. Maybe i slept, can't be sure. Tucson looks foreign and strange flying in on a plane. It was 4 a.m. I got my bags then wandered around the deserted airport until i found a couch that suited my fancy and got horizontal. Woke up to the battle of early morning commuter flyers getting their coffee. I got mine and walked to the bus stop to catch the 7:38 bus. It was completely empty. It's always weird being in the back of an empty bus. I guess i should have sat in front and made small talk with the driver. Got to the Laos transit center then caught a #8. This was full of the typical Americans... well maybe a bit on the poorer side of things. Though i'm college educated i always feel more of an affiliation with these people, the white trash going to work in gas stations, Mexicans going to wash dishes in restaurants,etc. And there's me, the cocky young physicist trying to scrub down the intellect of pretentious academia. I wonder how these people perceive me?
     I was still tired when i got home so took a nap. Woke up at 12:00 and went into SCLERA and did a bit of work. Thursday i went into work. Harlow comes in at 10:00—"S'climb." No hesitation on my part. It was foggy but we knew it would burn off. Went up to Windy Point and sure enough it did burn off. Chawn was sore and i was a bit rusty, haven't touched real rock for 3 weeks or a month. Started with Vista Cruiser (5.7). Chawn led the 1st pitch. Fun route. I led the 2nd. It was a weird traverse over a big roof. I realized why it was called Vista Cruiser. Lots of empty space below me. Traverse to a bolt, if i fell before that i would have penjy'd big time. And then i was trusting that 1 bolt with my life as i traversed on thin edges and then up the arête. I had my belly into the rock and was nervous. Next we did Alley Oop (5.7). Traversed over to the belay bolts of Stems and Seeds. I did the 2nd pitch rounding the corner and up a diagonal crack. It was easy and i had to remind myself to make placements. Got up to a big ledge and continued up this face then i realized i was on about 40 feet of run out and couldn't find placements to do this sketchy part so i had to down climb and kind of do a long traverse around, lots of drag and lots of runout. After that we had went back to the parking lot and i led Hitchcock's Pinnacle (5.7+) while about 20 people watched, gawking. And then when we were up there watching the sunset tourists were all "how did you get the rope up there?"
     What a way to end the year. Sunset on Hitchcock's Pinnacle. My first whole year in Tucson. The year of [Zo], Jan-April anyway, then climbing in Joshua Tree, Dragoons, Kitt Peak, Baboquivari, Yosemite (Tuolumne) for 10 days. The weirdness w/ [Maya]. Grand Canyon (twice), Utah, Las Vegas. Working at SCLERA. Fall semester: Quantum, Philosophy, Mechanics and the dreaded Math Methods (A, A, B, B). Diving in San Carlos, skiing on Mt Lemmon, yoga, Tai Chi, working out. My first semester being a T.A., quantized space-time and dead particles, physics being an autopsy of reality. And what was the single best experience? The most memorable (I'm thinking) may have been night diving and petting sleeping fishes. That's when i felt the awe of truly being alive. At moments, Zo made me feel very high. But that had its side effects. Anyways, it was a good year. And it was New Years and shit why not celebrate? Went to Ronnie's and drank way too much. 3 or 4 beers, 2 tall glasses of Sangria, a couple yagger meister shots, 3-4 glasses of Champagne... not a good mixture and i was not feeling myself. But it was fun anyway though a lot of weird dynamics going on. I was talking to Stacey and climbing came up and invited her to go the next day. But then i was sitting next to [C] and Stacey was being weird and made a big deal about our climbing plans and then Donna comes up "so what is it like to be led on a leash?"
     "Um, could you elaborate?" But she skirted the issue and said "nothing." Was it cuz i was sitting next to C? I was dependent on her for a ride cuz Harlow left early. Girls are weird and conniving. I guess girls like Boo, Heather and Kate seem cool and devoid of that flirty conniving mentality. When i asked C which girls on the ultimate team she thought were my type, she started reeling off "Stacey, Donna, etc." but would have never guessed it was Kate. [who for the life of us we can't remember who she is now]. We didn't leave until around 3:00 a.m. Then C lingered at my place going on about people questioning her sexuality. Gee C, maybe it's you questioning your own sexuality? Woke up with a big hangover. Hence my first New Year's resolution, no more drinking... well, no sense in being extreme, maybe a beer here or there, but for the most part it's waste of money and health. Had to get up and be ready for Chawn at 9:00. Went up to Windy Point to meet Ed and the Doc. Their car was there but we never did find them. Chawn was still sore and i was hungover as hell so we stuck to easy stuff. I led Thundercloud Spire (5.7), my hands were really sweating. Then Chawn let Ménage a Trois (5.7) then i led Jambrosia (5.7+) a tough jam crack. Chawn tried Flutterby but backed off because the vibes weren't right. So i went and led Deranged of Late (5.8). Weird smeary climb with lots of weird mantles and figuring out the moves. My head was still throbbing though i kept pouring water into my system.
     New Year’s Day. I could make resolutions but that seems dumb. The only resolutions are those which can't be said. It's more like a new outlook on things that needs to change and the only way you can do that is to accept yourself. Discover your potential, do the things that make me feel good, watch what goes in and out of my ecosystem (eat right and take responsibility for your actions). Doing everything with pride and passion, don't let petty details make me lose sight. I want to be so healthy that i lose consciousness of my physical being. Look inward by looking outward, climb, read, drink coffee, stay below 150 lbs. Fall in love (ha-ha) stay single and unattached. I'm a hypocrite. Just be. I'll start by leaving this coffee shop (Bowen + Bailey) and go clean and organize my place and take a big shit. I need to simplify my life. Get rid of surplus baggage, lighten up! And i need to fix my bike. I'm now cleaning, scrubbing the bathroom, rearrange the shells and fossils and stones and trinkets... going through my closet, throw out all those black clothes, things that are too small, made of wool. Next person to come through gets to choose from the pile. Out go all the socks with no partners, rearrange my room, move my bed, eat broccoli and rice.

Jan 5, 1993
11 years ago today dad killed himself. I'm in Pony Espresso and well, i usually come here in the morning to read for a few hours before work but i brought the wrong book. Instead of bringing Paul Davies, i brought Time's Arrow [by Martin Amis] which i just finished. Good book, had me thinking backwards in time, ok, let's try this. So i had some coffee, rode my bike home. Ate a banana, took then a shower then went to bed. Woke up at 1 a.m. and met C, said "au revoir". Put my bike in her trunk and drove to Bentley's (went through the intersection then slowed down and stopped once we were through). Then went in for some decaf. I told C i was glad i could hang out with her comfortably as friends, that i wasn't attracted to her. She said she was only attracted to me in a "goofy way". Hmm, what kind of game are we playing by not playing games? Went and saw "Tales of a Springtime"  A good French film, just people talking but kind of twisted. Went back to Bentleys, then C left and i read. Then rode home. Ate black bean spinach tacos then worked out and went to work, to this incredibly boring meeting. 4 hours long. And it goes on, but that's not what’s important. Reading God and the New Physics (by Paul Davies) had me thinking about "god". People look for god as an external presence when it is within us, it is the eyes we see with (not the eyes we see through). I just sneezed. It fit in with the trippy Jazz. The girl behind me just sneezed. The chatter of the coffee house. I'm living a symphony.  What is the verb "to be" all about anyway? Went to yoga on Sunday morning. There was a girl Monica there who is very beautiful. She was at the movie that C and i went to. I can talk to C cuz i'm not attracted to her, but if i tried to talk to this Monica girl i would turn to jell-O.

Jan 7
I dreamt [not yet logged in our dream journal] i was a polar bear that had a bone, another polar bear grabbed it and we were in a tense gridlock for hours, just growling at each other and refusing to budge.
     Then i was with Kevin walking into the surf of an ocean. He was approached by a fat black prostitute telling him if he didn't want to do it say so now. Meanwhile i went with her friend and she tied a rope to me and i was supposed to climb way up in this tree and drop down. I started climbing and wished i had gear to "lead" it. I got really high up and got out of control and was king of just grabbing all these vines, swinging down and grabbing onto another, like i was a monkey. I made this glamorous swinging exist at the bottom of the tree.
      Then i was with this guy, we were going to do something with his girlfriend (i felt like a tag-a-long). We knocked on her door and she was sleeping with another friend of this guy (call him Kent). He acted bummed and we went back to our room, which was adjoining. She came back saying "i got sick of it being cheat-on-Kent-behind-his-back day" then offered their room which was exactly like ours, big with furs on the beds and hundreds of Fijian drums hanging from the ceiling.
     Then i was with Rick who was driving this big Cadillac yacht, bitching about all the asphalt but then he would cut corners and run over all the plants. He would speed up for bumps and we would barely feel them because of the shocks.

Jan 10—Show Low, AZ
Laying in bed in some mediocre motel room in Show Lo Arizona watching a Carol Burnet special. Rain. Snow. Water. This show is so dumb it's distracting. We decided to leave early on Friday and try to get a ½ day in. We planned to leave at 6:00 but we didn't get our shit together til 7:00 or so. It had rained all day Thursday and Wednesday. Everything very wet. It was a beautiful drive. Lots of weird layered buckling geological formations. All the washes overflowing. Rivers everywhere that didn't exist before. The whole countryside saturated, soggy, sopping like a wet puppy dog. The Salt river was violent and torrential, sucking down everything in its wake. A rick brown color, gushing, pushing. the limits of the banks. We stopped at the bridge and drove down to this huge whirlpool, unlike anything i'd ever seen. It was huge and it was weird to see a pool of water that wasn't flat, but concave like a bowl. It was pulling logs around in huge bunches, collecting all the garbage round and round, violently, a chaotic attractor, the river feeding the frenzy on the edges. News flash: floods all over Arizona. Instead of saying which roads were closed they just say which are open. I think i'll finish this later, everyone seems ready to crash.

Jan 11
Still in Show Low, but now it's morning and it's still dark so i can't read what i'm writing but at least i can line the lines up. Everyone's still sleeping. 4 sets of breaths., in and out and the sound of cars driving though slush out our window. Where was I? We drove here Friday through the Salt river canyon. I drove with C and Shaheen, Harlow and Lisa followed in another car. Past the swirling primordial whirlpool of crunching logs [at which point our journal is interrupted by a table of numbers with 5 names]. There's the hearts game we played last night. We went past Pine Top and all the way to Sunrise in hopes of getting in a ½ day skiing. We were pretty stupid not to realize it was closed because of all the cars returning with skis on their roof. It was closed because they didn't have electricity. Damn floods. What's up with that? Floods? Floods of emotion. A major cleansing that goes out of control. Water getting pissed off. Taking revenge. El Nino.
     I decided to move into the lobby where there is light, but there is a T.V. in front of me showing Claude Van Damme movies. There are these pug-nosed little mutts with underbites and tongues that stick out and bulging eyes. They groan when you pet them and now one crawled onto my lap and the other ones wants up too. There's 3 of them, it's still blizzarding out there. The other dog is sniffing my fee and it tickles and he's pissed off and grunting cuz he wants to be up here. Pure beautiful snow. So it wasn't that big a deal to go up to Sunrise and not ski, saved money anyway. We fooled around in the snow until we got cold then returned and got our cabin. The toilet was all plugged up and 2 other guys Bill + Dave (friends of C) came. Now the dog jumped up here and it's hard to write. They're all over me and i'm using them as a table. They moved us to an 8 person cabin. Really nice and cozy log cabin with a loft. We vegged out, Harlow, Shaheen and I snuck into Best Western to use their hot tub, then came back and we all read Interview with a Vampire out loud. They all went to sleep and C and i played chess til late. Woke up at 6 to get an early start. Ha, farting around, cooking potatoes and waiting for people to shit. We left when everyone else in town decided to so it was a major traffic jam. And then waiting in all the lift lines. We got up on the slopes probably around 11. But it was worth it. Amazing snow. A couple fee of fresh dry powder, clear day. I forgot how much I love skiing. Swishing through powder, flying off jumps. We spent most of the day at Cyclone which was mostly black diamonds or double-black but then at the bottom they were flat green run out. But Apache Peak was a little better.
     820-2222 —> this is the number for World Cup soccer tickets. This dog's tongue is disgusting. He's slobbering all over me. Apache peak was better. Steep ungroomed black diamond runs. Really hard. But oh, so much fun. What is it about skiing? Is it the balance between free will and physical laws? Gravity pulling you down, but at every moment you have a decision to make. A path to take. A jump to go off. The acceleration. Every run is a piece of art. Tracks left behind. Skied w/ Shaheen, Chawn + C most of the day. So intense we never stopped until we had to. Came back past all the cars spun off the road and made spaghetti, then played more chess. We decided to go out, we stopped at Safeway on the way then i got bad vibes. Everybody was tired and dehydrated and they were all going drinking. I wanted to go back to the cabin and read.
     [followed by entry by C which we will keep private]
     That was C's angle. Skiing is so mental. Adapting to contours. I kind of regret not skiing more by myself. So yah the weather was perfect on Saturday. And so was the snow. There weren’t that many groomed runs but all for the better. It's finally cleared up now. We just passed the town of Winselman and most of it seems to be under water. The news people are parked along the road and the inhabitants are hanging out in front of Ⓚ with grim looks on their faces.
     Sunday we got up to the slopes earlier but in the morning it was freezing cold. I thought my nose would just fall off sitting on the lift with the wind pelting snow against our faces. We went over to Apache peak and that was a little better. Sunrise Peak was even better. It was a blast, even though it was snowing most of the day. We were planning on driving back to Tucson but after eating some Mexican food, C decided it was wiser to stay and i was with her. The others didn't want to stay and we said later but pretended like they didn't know us. C and I got a double then we snuck the others into our room.  It’s weird how other people's decisions can greatly affect your life. I can't imagine how things might be if they hadn't decided to stay and it was just me and C sharing a room. For better or worse, but my instincts say for the worse. Destiny and free will are tripping me out. C is growing on me like i never thought she would, becoming a special friend. There's a lot i still don't understand about her though. Shaheen has gotten away ahead of us but we just passed the Biosphere II and are almost back in Tucson. Time to get back on schedule.
     [Changes to pencil] I’m hone now. C has really taken me by surprise. The rational side of me tried to convince myself there was nothing there. But now i'm starting to develop feelings for her. She's beautiful. But i’m getting serious Deja vu like i've written this before.

Jan 13
This is the final hour. 1st day of classes. 1 more hour and i'll be into the routine following the watercourse way. This long pull does the trick. It's been raining like the sky has been ripped open, never letting up. It let up yesterday so Chawn and i tried climbing. Mt Lemmon highway was closed. Milagrosa and Campbell cliffs were both in stream beds. So figured we'd try Kor wall in Sabino Canyon. We hiked out to the river and it was raging. We followed its edge trying to find a crossing to no avail. A park ranger came along and strongly advised us not to cross. Even if we did make it across the rocks were saturated and unstable and the trail was all washed out. We figured we'd look at the tram crossing anyway. A couple of feet of water was pouring over the road. Enough to sweep you away. After much indecision we opted to just hike the Esperero Canyon trail. We stowed our gear in the bushes and did the power hike. A few hours of exhilarating sweating, pulse racing, trekking on muddy trails, jumping streams. Esperero spires are totally intense looking and we were totally psyched to return and do some climbing. Returned, got an Ultimate smoothie then went to the climbing gym for about 3 hours. It started pouring again last night. It made me sleep uneasily and not want to get out of bed. But i didn't even know when and where my classes were. Or what class i would be TA’ing. I may as well have taken a boat to school, all the roads were flooded. Another new start. The slate washed clean.

Jan 17—Flagstaff, AZ
So School's already started but it doesn't feel like it. I'm sitting here in some house in Flagstaff with C's parents and Chawn, watching some cheesy film on T.V. and C isn't even here. Kind of funny how things turn out. I never would have guessed this a couple of days ago. Classes started on Wednesday, completely unorganized, i just went to a bunch of classes trying to decide which to take. I'm still not sure. On top of it all they assigned me to teach physics 109 when i had biophysics. I don't know why i bothered to give them my schedule. So they say, well, you can switch with so and so but then they had their lab when i had something else. It ends up i can’t take stat mech [statistical mechanics] but i'm teaching the 112 lab. Bio physics, Quantum and Chaos. That's cool. So i hadn’t even had this figured out, i still don't. Thursday night Wyse Monkey was playing at the Rock. Typical scene, Zo, Brian, Ignacio, etc. I had fun for a while but then got severely depressed. I was sitting there just kind of minding my own business when i look over and Brian and Zo are pointing at me laughing. They are just so phony. Hiding behind their little social facade, smoking cigarettes, drinking beer. They kept laughing at me, so i went off to another corner and then it occurred to me how there was nothing to be gained from this experience or from most of these "friends". But i had to wait for Mark for a ride. We went to Denny's which beats The Rock any day.
     Chawn and I were planning a Dragoons trip for the 3-day MLK day weekend. t was supposed to be semi-nice weather on Friday and Saturday so we were gonna leave Friday morning after class. We were all set to go but i just wasn't feeling right about it. I gave C a call and she was going to Flagstaff to ski Snow bowl. So Chawn comes in, kind of fretting about how he wanted to split then C comes in and so i bring up the idea of going to Sno-Bowl. Chawn was up for it. So we went and got skis and waited for C to get off work and split. We got into Flagstaff around 10:30. Her parents were waiting for us, but they're cool. Her dad's a professor of Navajo studies. Just last week i was telling C i wanted to meet her parents and here we are. I don't see the resemblance, but definitely got a new angle on her. We got up early Saturday to ski. Had pancakes with her parents then took off. It was brilliant snow and lots of it. But it was snowing the whole day. C and I kept skiing trees but were having kind of a shitty time. Oh well, everyone's going to sleep.

Jan 18
Now i'm in the back of C's car [handwriting is very messy], we had to put the seat down so we could fit the skis in so i'm lying across all sorts of junk, but it's okay. Life is grand. I'm watching ice blobs creep down the back windshield and it reminds me of sitting in the well of a Ford Torino station wagon with fake wood paneling in Oregon, watching snow race across the windows and life and memories are pouring too fast to write down especially on this bumpy road with Jerry Garcia coming thru the speakers in the backseat with me. So, looking back, Saturday was weird. I felt i wasn't in control of my emotions, it was reflected in my skiing. I couldn't make decisions with umph, like i'm going to do this damn it but i was just so half ass about everything and i was feeling weird about C, like there were things i wanted to tell her that i couldn't put in words that i didn't really want to be feeling, but i'm glad i didn't attempt to cuz i'm sure i would have sounded like an idiot and i probably would have regretted it and so instead i just acted quiet and grumpy and frustrated and repressed. We kept losing Chawn and finally just went to the lodge but of us thoroughly defeated and frustrated and C with a hurt knee. I was pissed at having to depend on the weather for my happiness. If it wasn't wet snow it was drizzly rain. You couldn't see with glasses cuz they would get fogged and speckled. Without the icy snow would get in your eyes, so you couldn't go fast. It was really frustrating. Wanting to go fast—the snow was perfect but you couldn't move how you wanted to, kind of like life sometimes.
     I have so much love in my heart that is spilling over and wants to be projected onto the world but it ain't going nowhere. I've got to put a cork on it cuz it will just get me into trouble. The right girl is going to be really lucky. Sometimes i just feel so alone but good.
     Saturday night we went to eat with C's parents at the Main Street grill, good food. Cool place, i really like Flagstaff. Afterwards, C, Chawn and i went to the Zor, a total yee-haw country bar. C and i 2-stepped, guess it was fun in an ironic way. Then we went to Monsoons. Culture shock, this was the liberal hippy hangout. This band Strangers was there from San Fran, they were kind of just being ignored but were pretty good so we started boogying down and then everyone else started dancing. Sunday skiing was much better. C went to Page with her parents and they let Chawn and I take the jeep. We ended up taking the shuttle bus from the lower lot, a kind of insurance as it would suck to wreck their jeep. Beaten up school bus full of whiney tourists. We only had 6 or 7 runs but they were all terrific. At one point it was clearing up and the chair rose above the clouds and the sun was hitting the fresh frosty now and the glazed trees like icing, oh, it was fresh and pure and beautiful and invigorating. Each tree, crystal flames, like candles, skied the trees in the bowl, what a beautiful world, to beautiful for words. I felt like a humble observer in the grander scheme of things, but i was part of it. It was in my breath, skin, my eyes, lungs. I was in motion in this world, leaving my trail in the fresh powder, like a fossilized record, but unlike the scientific technical aspect of fossils, these fossilized tracks contained my emotions, my free will, my state of mind at that instant, i was there, but to any other future observer the would have to use their imagination.
     Then of course there had to be the yang getting to the bottom of the run and having to deal with humanity and technology, long lines and then the lift broke down. We stood in line for at least an hour or 2, stealing the best part of the day as it got cloudy and drizzly again. We went to eat Thai food at Dara Thai, i was a bit skeptical at first as it was in the lobby of a hotel and there was no back kitchen door to give it the smell test. But damn, pot of gold, an amazing sensory experience that makes your buddy buzz and a light head. The decor was fabulous too, it was housed in the leftover remnants of a hick coffeeshop, horseshoes and cowboy hats and stain glass pictures of horses pulling wagons on the prairies, a cross cultural experience. Afterwards we cruised route 66 scoping out the area getting the angle on Flagstaff. We went to San Francisco st and walked in the snow. Ducked into a coffee shop for a double espresso long pull. C's parents were there when we got back but C was out with her friend so we just watched violent shows on T.V. with her parents.
[Then apparently we asked Chawn + C what their favorite part of this weekend was—]
Chawn: Moguls
C: Seeing her parents, wishing i could speak Navajo, washing my hair 3 days in a row. I had fun dancing.
[Followed by another page by C talking about her Navajo identity and philosophy on life, which again, we'll omit]

We drove back monday, MLK day, amidst periodic torrential downpours and long sweeps of crackling lightning the like the sky was splitting open. We stopped to play video games at some cheesey place in Phoenix and of course did the D.Q. thing. As always, depressing to return and attempts were made to prolong it. Chawn and i went straight to the gym. When i got back home i already missed C. I called her up and we went to see a dumb movie. On the way back i told her i was attracted to her. She said she was too... so i guess it seems inevitable. I feel better that things are more in the open. Tuesday night Stephen Jay Gould spoke at U of A. Inspiring but he's a bit of a pompous ass. He does almost exactly what i want to be doing, except regards to evolutionary biology instead of physics. Actually i would love to have the freedom to write about whatever. C was there with her roommate, i ran into them after. She was being weird and spacey, in a "bewitched" sort of mood as she said. She seemed lost and unable to do simple tasks like find Denny's and we somehow went on a tour of downtown and ended up on the banks of the Santa Cruz river. Breath-taking, such volume gushing forth with great speed, not necessarily turbulent, but powerful and awe-inspiring. I could have easily kissed C right there on the bank of the river. Such a simple impulsive act could have reset the course of the waterway. Or i could have just as easily jumped in. I read the next day about how someone saw someone walk up the banks of the Santa Cruz and jump in at 9:30 p.m., never to be seen again. We were there at 9 pm. We move on to Denny's where C was still in a weird state and unable to study so afterward we went to her house and read each other's journals and she showed me pictures.
     I was supposed to meet Zo at Z's at 4:46 yesterday. I wasn't surprised when she didn't show up When i went to Hinduism class she said she was there but she was late. Hmm. I like spending time with her cuz i realize that i totally built her up and put her on a pedestal... not that i'm still not smitten every time i see her. O.k. time for classes.

Jan 25
What another great weekend. We planned to go to the Dragoons and this time we did. Chawn went with his brother Lyle and C and I met them up there. We got there in the dark after a long drive of weird conversation where sex kept coming up. The campgrounds were lame and had hay on the ground with cement picnic tables so we got in Lyle's truck and went trucking up this road and found a little campsite. I had seriously twisted and spooky dreams, kept dreaming of themes of encroaching technology, overwhelming industrial powers, the immensity of civilization, engines, bombs, etc. Pepper kept barking at the animals all night. The sky was glowing. I kept hearing UFOs, mining projects in the distance. I wasn't sleepy and just wanted to get up. Finally the sun came and we headed over the top of the stronghold past Rockfellow dome and to What's My Line (5.6). Incredibly beautiful up there in Cochise Stronghold. It's a little gem that holds a special place in my heart, nature at its best. Big towering rocks, stream, trees, cacti, all with a magical quality. Big towering rocks, streams, caves, underneath, the spirit of the Cochise indians still lived in these hills. It took longer than we expected (2+ hours) for the approach, primarily due to Pepper. I won the rock, bomb, scissors, so C and I were to lead first. We had to climb up this gully which wasn't trivial just to start it. Pepper kept yelping like she was dying of cancer and biting through her leash and running around frantically so it ended up that Lyle stayed with the dog and we did it as a party of 3. The first pitch was actually A0. My first aid climb!  I went up and clipped 2 bolts then C lowered me 30 or 40 feet and i penjy’ed over onto a sea of chickenheads, beautiful! I climbed up and didn't even need to make placements until i was at her level. I wrapped 2 chickenheads but they both came off. I was probably 40-50 feet above her before i got a good wrap then went up a ways then realized i was kind of going up the wrong way. There a blank area between me and the big chickenhead patch and i had to do this sketchy long reach which seemed about 5.8 (and Brian who followed us thought so too). C followed, trailing another rope, she had to penjy over on some horn i wrapped. She kind of dogged the reachy move. Then Chawn followed her and led the next pitch. I must have been at that belay stance for almost 2 hours but it was beautiful, facing the awesome Rockfellow domes, blue sky, virgin wilderness. Mid-January at 7000 feet almost at snow level and it was in the 70s and i had my shirt off and the sun felt radiant. The next pitch was also a sea of boiler plates. Terrific exposure, almost vertical. Brian and some guy Jeff were coming up right after us. I led the 3rd pitch which went up to a headwall and traversed under it. I was supposed to go all the way left to this cheesy gully that had trees and stuff in it and l looked up and saw this crack going straight up and looked doable so i said fuck it and started to go up on rock that was crumbly with thin ledges. A couple of hard moves (5.8) got me to a sort of ledge but i still had to go up this slab of crumbly sandpaper like shit and was maybe 20 feet above the last placement. I made the move and there was lots of drag and it was sorta scary but i finally topped out. C fell once on the end part but made it. We cruised down (cool rappel) and pepper's feet were so torn up that Chawn and i had to take turns carrying her down treacherous terrain as it was getting dark.
(Jan 26)
C was being undecided as to whether to stay or not.  Lyle had to return and Chawn was returning with him so he could go to some cave in the Huachucas. So it was just C and I and we figured we'd go to Benson with them to eat at the infamous Caboose Mexican restaurant, in a railway car, and figure it out from there. I led everyone on a wild goose chase as the place didn't seem to exist, i asked the girl in Ⓚ and she just looked at me like i was a nutty hippy, but the guy behind me in line said Ruiz was the best Mexican-American food in Benson. The girl behind him said, "yah, try their fried rice." Hmm. With that in mind we hit some divey diner, straight form a David Lynch movie, off kilter walls and roof at weird angles, fake wood paneling, twisted decor and a small group of floosies hanging out at this bar. I think the waitress detected our apprehension and the dark lighting and said "the dining room is nicer" and pointed us to  a room that was exactly like the room we were just in. Hmm. The "mystery" coffee was interesting. C was having an Ultimate guilt trip and decided she best return. She was tired so i drove and she dozed off, but would wake up and blurt "ahhhh" with every bump in the road or lane change. Poor girl was really spacey. We were gonna hot tub at Lyle's but she suddenly decided against it and next thing i knew were at Craycroft and Buttfuck, Egypt. On the way to my house she kept saying how she was scared and being indecisive about my limbo state so finally i asked her if she didn't just want to stay over. She jumped on the idea and seemed happy, so we had a little slumber party and watched Jane's Addiction videos [not sure how as we didn't have a T.V. so maybe we stayed at her house] and i had a sneezing fit induced by cholla.
     I woke up and she was still sleeping so i read a good portion of Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God. I don't know, i guess it's good. C slept peacefully on the bed above me (I slept on the floor). It was nice to not be alone. When she got up we decided impulsively to fuck everything and go climbing. We took a change on windy point but the highway was closed so we went to Milagrosa instead, much nicer anyway walking up along the river into the canyon. It was almost as the climbing gym though, tons of people, overflow from Mt Lemmon being closed on a beautiful sunny Sunday. First i led that 5.8 that Chawn and i did before (called Valentine's Day (5.8+)). C dogged over the crux but did the rest. I top-roped the climb running to the left of the bolts on the face which was a beautiful climb. Then i led Community Service which i thought was 5.9 but ends up it's a 10a, so some people say. I got to the top and clipped the last bolt and was exiting and my arms were giving out and i knew i couldn't downclimb. I said falling and expected to fall 5 or so feet, but i just kept going. That split second of unexpected free fall was exciting. I ended up falling about 15 feet staring face to face with the 3rd bolt down from the one i fell at. C was yanked up out of her little chair of stone against the sling i tied her in with. I was flamed but went up and finished it. C tried it but couldn't really make it past the 1st bolt.      Someone told us of a 5.7 around the corner i was going to lead but i left my stoppers in the car thinking it was all sport climbs but it's a good thing cuz it was shitty rock, but we TR'ed it. Nice crack in a dihedral. C did it and i had to do it again cuz she forgot her figure 8 and i needed to retrieve my biners. After that we crossed the river to the other side to this other brand new route which people said was a 5.9. I on-sighted it and breezed up, don’t think it was 5.9 but nice except for some loose holds. We were the last ones there as the sun was setting and we had to find our way on a new trail which was basically non-existent. It was really beautiful and indescribable, one of those head numbing moments of a premonition of nostalgia where you're experiencing things as if they were already a memory—as if i was looking back on this moment of walking with CG on some road northeast of Tucson with the sky pink and green on a warm January day. The sound of footsteps crunching on rocks, our breathing. We were alive, living such an experience. And C, almost as if we are turned into the same resonant frequency. We went and had a nice meal at Olive Garden and then that moment came when the weekend was over and she had to take me home. That let down. "Home" that concept that doesn't mean much to me. It's not something i look forward to. Home to me is the state of motion, the state of experiencing new things, being on the new side of a rock feels like home to me.  So i step in after giving C a big hug and a kiss on the cheek and check my answering machine and then the phone rings, Michael from Guelph—what a surprise. He's going to Mexico and wanted to stop in Tucson next weekend. Hang up and the phone rings again, it's C with that "i had something to tell you" vibe. She's really cute, when she had nothing to say and hey, that's something, actually that's everything. O.K. back to reality.

Today was weird. I experienced a Jan 28, 1993, a lot of emotions i've never felt before. I went to Pony Espresso with Jesus. I could tell he wanted to talk when he asked me, and by the tension in the silence—

Jan 31, 1993
Too much shit happening to write—let's see if i can follow this yarn. I've experienced so many different emotions in the past couple of days... I was totally dealing with Jesus and what happened to this brother, consoling him best as i could. Then i got a hold of C and she had been at the hospital—her uncle who had the bone marrow transplant was having all sorts of complications. I went to see her at the hospital. She was in tears in the waiting room. Her family had gone off to eat and she was on her own and completely broke down. I felt completely helpless—everything was beyond control, C was all saying "Derek, I just need someone to tell me everything is O.K" and i tried to console her but i'm terrible and never know how to react. I wanted to take her pain onto myself. She went into see him and was freaked out at all the tubes going everywhere and bleeding ulcers, etc. Her parents came back along with the rest of her family and the medicine man. It was a culture shock, the going back and forth between English and Navajo, such a tight knit family. It felt good when her father came over and thanked me for coming, cuz i felt kind of useless before that. I'm just terrible at dealing with death and dying. I don’t know why that is. Maybe it's dad. Was i really close to him? Something about that whole scene really affected me—how powerless we humans are. C losing her shit. I don't understand it, the praying, the medicine man there, etc. It wasn't my place to explain my views on praying, then again maybe i have something to learn about the function of praying in alleviating human suffering. I got back late. I guess the weird thing about the past couple of days is it doesn't feel like i'm in Tucson, or I'm "home", it feels like i'm travelling. Friday i went to class but then Harlow and i took off climbing.

[... this journal continues in post #759]

752 <(current)> 754> Black books matter on Swann ( + along Oklahoma + Montana aves)
[  (ɔ)om.Postd 2020  anon I'm us  |  calamari archive   ]