Thursday, January 12, 2012

Arcless: Without Arc

Last night I climbed at the brand new, high walled, rad but crazily crowded Vertical World which is, thankfully, just across the river from me in Magnolia. For the past nine years I've been a devout follower of Stone Gardens, but in the last year the scene exploded and now there are new gyms everywhere and I belong (in a roundabout way) to all of them. I used to know everybody at Stone Gardens, either by name or by face or by reputation. Now I'll climb to the top of the wall and look down at a room filled with people who dress like my friends and act like my friends but who are actually total strangers. Like a little alternate reality.

A few of those strangers introduced themselves last night. They told me they read this but had never met me in person. That's got to be the best perk of writing the blog ever, when that happens, it's always a burst of energy and happiness. I had to laugh, though, because three people last night - three!- told me they particularly loved the previous post and they wanted more like that.

My god, so do I! Those posts are the absolute most fun to write. They practically write themselves. I do hope that one day- preferably when I'm still pretty enough (oh, I'm going to get slammed by that sentence)  the man will be a boringly perfect fit. Until that happens, whenever life delivers in the realms of dating disasters and poisoned hamburgers, I'll keep writing about it.

But what do I write about in the meantime?

Because I mean most of the time, I'm not out on a bad date, or any date at all really. They take so much energy. You have to schedule yourself a recovery week after those things. And by date, I'm really referring to any of the things that are fun to write about: big climbing trips, traveling, barfing, girl friends morphing into guy friends. Things that have a story arc.

A lot of my time is spent just going along, with no clearly defined rising action or falling action. No action of any kind. They look like this:
And this:
And lots and lots of this:

But I think I'm going to go ahead and write about the normal things, even if they don't have that neat little arc. The whole point of this blog is to write everything. So here we go, Arcless.

Last night I actually climbed. This was a big surprise for me. Imagine a climbing gym, if you can. Now imagine spending every evening of every weekday there, getting really strong and pretty good. Not crazy good, but good enough. And after a while, naturally, you start to get to know the people there. Everybody who works there and everybody who climbs there. Now picture a little drain in middle of the floor. And imagine yourself slipping into the drain and disappearing.

This is what I did. I fell into a hole. Ever since this past summer, all I've really wanted to do was write, work and take walks by myself. I don't know what hit me, but I went with it. I'd go to the gym every now and then, or stay late after work to boulder, but I was mostly just dicking around. The only time I felt truly happy climbing was outside, but that became difficult when winter came. I lost a lot of strength and the thought of building it up again, and getting those painful blisters that turn into callouses was depressing. I was like oh, shit, forget about it. Let's just do something else.

After Christmas though, I really started to miss it. I went a few times to different gyms and started getting it back. And last night, when I fought, fell but ultimately finished two 11B's and led a bunch of easier but overhanging stuff, I was like- oh, right, this! I really like this. I really like this. Everything about it. Maybe if I don't get exactly what I want- which is to be the head writer of SNL and live in New York, marry a Seth Meyers look alike, have two beautiful children and then retire and live richly outside of Montpelier Vermont without ever having to work again- I can still be happy.

It was quite the revelation.

And after the gym shut down, we went to the High Life. I think there were ten of us all together, and I knew less than half of them. So I met a few more people. We had nine pound porters, and these little pizzas, and some other things, and since nobody ever brought us a check we stayed there till almost midnight.

It must have tired me out, because I went home and slept for thirteen hours solid. In my dreams, I came up with a comedy piece about describing my own physical heart in an extremely complicated manner. It's not worth writing, of course, but I always to mention when I write something in my sleep. Something in there deserves the credit.

And then today happened, and it was a very slow and, as you can see, very dark. I woke up, basically, just in time for sunset. That's gloomy. I had no pressing deadlines, and the real job I have keeps getting pushed back and pushed back because of funding issues. So it's alright if I wake up late.

But I don't like it. It's disconcerting and disorienting. Why is it that I'll sleep and sleep and sleep for more than half the day? I don't know many people who do that. What is my brain doing? I'm certainly not getting any taller, sadly.

It makes me think of that Tom Waits song: What's he building in there? 

So there you have it. The dreaded second act. Are you still reading? Are you still here? 


Unknown said...

I'm still reading, please, keep the stories coming.

matropolis said...

I'm still reading, please keep the stories coming. Regardless of whether there is arc.

Anonymous said...

It's believed that more people will need more sleep for the big shift that is coming in 2012. Consider it rest so you can write more. Keep it up!

Baby By The Sea said...

Of course, I love what you have to say. Of course, silly.

Anonymous said...

I sleep a lot. last night i dreamed that my cousin could drive a real tractor trailer.. and we were smoking joints with my sister and her friend in front of my uncle. the night before that I was on a road trip with friends. one of those awesome dreams where your just keep driving and going and going and you never reach the destination. and the night before that I paddled the green TWICE with my dad and Herzog.. Point being.... sleeping is much more fun than real life right now!