Monday, October 18, 2010

Kick Me, I'm Awake

Saturday in the still sunny city.  Every sunny moment in Seattle, towards the middle of October, is like a perfect moment in the arms of a gorgeous man, your cheek nestled onto on his broad, fleece-vested chest. He's stroking your perfectly straight, Brazilian-blown out hair with a calloused hand and every now and then he kisses you on the head, absentmindedly. But beneath that heartbreakingly perfect exterior, he's a fickle, unreliable jerk-off and you know it. But he's made it abundantly, shamelessly clear that at any moment he will run off and leave you.  For a long, long time. For six months even. Because the rumors are very, very true: Seattle really is a grey, wet, sunless, miserable city for the majority of the year, and that time of year is

Saturday morning did not come easy for me. Seth had to be driven off in Wallingford at like, 7 am, (I wasn't aware the city was even turned on at 7am on a Saturday.) So I brought him to the house of his brother. Ben. Ben is also a good friend. He's also the worst person I've ever dated. Ever. Sorry, man, but you know it's true.

I'm horrible, horrible, just a terrible person in the mornings. In my defense, it's only because I feel so sad, so miserable, so nauseatingly unhappy about leaving my warm nest of blankets and dreams and joining the cold, alienating, soul stifling parade of life that on most mornings I'd rather die than get up. I'm serious. And I feel this way even in the very best of circumstances. The only way for someone to successfully rouse me is if they climb on top of my bed and kick me and kick me and kick me until I'm on the floor, and bruised.

It's less than ideal.

People always used to tell me, in this gross smarmy way that I hated, "Oh, just wait till you get a dog. My dog wakes me up at 6:00am every day." Eat it, smarmsters. I found Hometeam, my soul-dog, and it's impossible to wake her up before 11:00am. You could stand above her, bang on a pot with a rawhide bone and scream "BIG STEAK! BIG STEAK! BIG STEAK! ALL YOURS" And I swear to god she'll bury herself deeper into the comforter and punish you for the disturbance by being frosty all day.  My god, she's an angel of a dog.

So anyway, the worst part of the morning (of my life, really) is the initial extraction of me from my bed. Once that's done I'm usually okay. So as I drove through the delicate light of a clear, refreshingly cold morning playing the CD Seth made for me ("Songs For Hometeam", with a photo of her nose stamped onto the CD) I started to feel good. Great, actually. "Let's get some coffee!" I said, "I'm so awake now, wow- WOW! This feels awesome!" If I stayed awake, there would be so many hours in the day! Twice what I'm used to. I could get so much accomplished! I could be bilingual by nightfall! There were so many hours in the day! Carpe diem.

 Seth, still scarred from having to wake me, was made uncomfortable by my sudden mood shift. "Um, yeah- you know what? You can just drop me off here-"
"Here- anywhere. Anywhere is fine just let me out."

I turned the car around, headed back to my house whistling, fell into bed and slept till noon. The only reason I got up at all was because I had made plans with Kendra to have breakfast in capitol hill. Which of course I just steamrolled right through. But, having known me since I was eight, Kendra knew that 'breakfast' for me means 'lunch' for most people.

I'd like to thank Kendra for existing, and also the Hopvine Pub for whatever it is that they put in their Harvest Pumpkin Soup. Bacon, cheese, whatever, it was a good reason to stay alive.

Having been properly revived, I climbed for the rest of the day with Seth at Stone Gardens, that plastic cathedral of strength and chalk and pheromones. A place where, even in the worst of weather you can....wear as little as you want. Can I get an Amen for my favorite climbing gym this side of the Mississippi!

"But Melina," you say, "that place is full of shirtless assholes trying to impress each other and themselves. It's like the epicenter of egomaniac rock climbing masturbation. And it's expensive."

And to you, authentic and well meaning outdoors person, I say, hey, I used to be just like you. I climbed there rarely and only after much complaining. Head down, headphones glued to my ears, loathe to be part of the spectacle. But then- something happened. What was it? I don't know. What prompted that first ambitious, self confident swimmy thing to try and slither out of the primordial soup and onto the shore? I evolved. One day I just whipped off my Regulatory 1 Long sleeve Patagonia Baselayer and bared the tight Prana halter beneath. I threw my hair into a suitably messy pony tail and tackled that V-2 like it was a V-12. Then I stood back, scrunched my face up into a thoughtful expression, put my hands in front of my face as if visualizing how to overcome the crux, and said something to myself -but audible- about 'pump' and 'slope' and 'sweet.' The boys and girls around me glanced my way, gave me a quick once-over, then nodded their appreciation.

And just like that, I crossed over.

It's not about being the most serious climber or the prettiest climber. It's about pretending to be those things.

And I'm going to need the gym and its promises of toning and firming more than ever right now, because it is Restaurant Week in Seattle! That unbelievable time in Autumn where all the fancy restaurants in the city offer a 5 course meal for 25 bucks. Dessert included. And you've probably guessed by now, but I'm the type of gal who straight up lives for restaurant week. Because part of being a serious, ambitious, and confident person is knowing how to eat in a serious, ambitious, and confident way.

First stop: Emmer and Rye on Queen Anne. Monday night. Stay tuned. I hope you had a great weekend.


Katie said...

Mmmmm, I love climbing gyms for all those reasons :) Even though I smell like feet when I leave.

elissa said...

This was a really fun post to read!

Wendy said...

I like how you write....entertaining yet informative. I've never rock-climbed before...either the real deal or just the fake place. I just have one question. Was that a leaf stitched on the back of your sweats?

Catherine (WA in PA) said...

I am insanely jealous of you. Restaurant Week! I missed it by like, ten days! Seriously, I was home last week, I saw a promotion for Restaurant Week, and I thought to myself, "I've only been here a day, maybe I could go back to the airport, get some kind of refund, and try again next week." I might have to boycott your blog for awhile, because it might be too painful to read about. =) Great post!

Ava said...

Amen! Love this post :)

Ava said...

Amen! I love this post :)

Adriana Iris said...

You made me hungry and made me laugh...if I was single I would call that a great date...

Jenny said...

I love Stone Gardens for those same reasons. I am not good at climbing. I have to talk myself into climbing to the top and cannot look down, but I feel like badass anyway and no one there contradicts me. In fact I've had strangers encouraging me to try that level 1 route again.

Anonymous said...

I like reading your website because you can constantly bring us new and awesome stuff, I think that I should at least say a thank you for your hard work.

- Rob