[20 May 2020> Here's the rest of our 1992 journal, picking up where post #743 left off:]
Nov 2, 1992 [Tucson]
Rooftop writing. November! My favorite month. Scorpio brings in Sagittarius, a time of change. Clear vacuous blue skies, a little chilly. Morning sunshine that is welcome. Sam and Diana picked me up at 8 a.m. Saturday morning... cool laid-back couple from North Carolina. Drove to Cochise Stronghold via the increasingly familiar gates, all 6 of them. Actually before we even got to the Stronghold West we went to the Warpath area. Rocks with history. Cochise and his band running from the cavalry and hiding up in these hills. When we got to the parking lot at Butterfield ruins (an old Adobe house) Dave [H] and Phyllis pull up. So we all went together up the stream bed, the boulder-hopping bush-whack from hell, the only highlight being when i climbed over this boulder and was looking back at Phyllis telling it was better to go around and said "whoa, rattlesnake!" before i even registered it. She stopped just in time, one more step and she would have stepped on it. Poor thing was all lethargic and tired and slowly slithered it's fat body from its coiled position to under a rock. Beautiful creature. Independent and mysterious, just minding it's own business. we continued on to the base of Warpath but we went to high up. I knew we had to traverse to the other side but we went up way too early. I climbed up this big jumble of rocks a hundred feet high to get a better perspective. There was Chawn up on Cruise Corner, a few 100 feet up, but still a long ways off. I guided the others from my birdseye vantage point, hopping along the top of exposed boulders, until they were on the right path. Then i continued along the boulders until i reached "Hideout Wall". Dr. Schultz was there and so was Dave. They slept in the Stronghold and got up at 6:00 + this was their first climb... took them 2 hours to find it. The others took a while to bushwhack up, then Sam belayed me on Cruise Corner (5.6), nice *** dihedral, very easy and lots of placements. Uncomfortable belay stance. Sam cleaned the route, then downclimbed the route and sent Diana up. She had trouble which surprised me cuz in the car they were bragging about all the routes they had done. She traversed over to "We Be Jammin'" where Chawn had set up another rope to rappel on. She rapped it and then Hamer came up. By that time i was getting cold and sick of this awkward belay stance. So we switched (Phyllis was coming next anyway) and rapped down. Then i did We Be Jamming (5.8) on TR (top rope). Piece of cake, just walked right up. The so called 5.8 moves are in the bottom 15 feet, once you get to the crack it's easy foot-jamming. With all these old slow people we had to leave early. Major 2 hour deproach, spotting people down boulders. All familiar to me from when i was here before with Shaheen and Mark. Same time, sunset, but it was dark when got to the cars. Pulled out the Steinlager and chips and vegged then Sam and Diana split.
I transferred my shit to the Schultz-mobile and the rest of us went to the Bean Fest. Strange ritual, almost tribal. People in strange costumes gathered round a big fire next to a big rock. A couple kegs of beer and yes, lots of beans and other potluck food. Mostly just refried beans and tortillas. I figured i wouldn't appreciate the full essence of the ritual unless i had a few beers in me, and of course some bean burros, whilst watching the huge staypuff marshmallow couple, packed 3 feet in diameter with pillows, mashing against each other on the ground. Finally the "bean priest" came and ceremoniously grabbed the big pot of refried beans for the initiation rites. Virgins lined up to offer themselves to the supreme being, including myself. I did not run when the beans started to fly, though Chawn, Dave and Lee ran for their costumes to hide their virgin identities. When i got up to the altar the priest asked, "art thou a virgin?" Yes, i said and tipped back my baseball hat as he mashed beans on my forehead. Then he gave me another splattering for being out of costume. But i didn't get it bad compared to a lot of others. He would hurl and mash beans into their hair and smear them on their glasses. Chants of "virgin, virgin!" came from the crowd and virgins that were trying to hide would be discovered and carried forward for the sacrifice. Oh yah, the bean splattering was followed by 3 long drags off the ceremonial tequila bottle. Some buy walked through the fire buck naked and admitted his virginity. The priest hurled beans at his dick and the guy jumped back through the fire. Then shouts of "wiper, wiper!" would come from the crowd when someone was spotted wiping off their refried beans and the priest would come and re-bean them with more intensity, those that were sacrilegious enough to wipe the beans from their foreheads. "But no, i was just eating them cuz i was hungry," was no excuse. I tried to hunt down the others but it was hard cuz they had their costumes on and they didn't want me to find them and expose them. I guessed wrong a few times. Masks are freaky. Finally i recognized Chawn's shoes and ripped his mask off and yelled "virgin!" which was soon echoed throughout the mob until the priest showed up and asked where the culprit was and i presented Chawn and he got beaned and took his tequila "communion". Dave was in his caveman costume and we figured he had a serious attitude problem so didn't bother exposing him. He's always complaining, "i'm cold, i'm hungry, ..." and thinks he's Mr. know-it-all and too cool to be beaned. We got the Schultzer who struggled a bit but then relented. He was a space alien with a bitchin mask, with a big forehead so figured we'd leave the mask on. But the priest peeled it for the beaning. Then i hung out with Mike, Scott's brother and this cute girl who washed her beans off with the keg pump (and her hair) and told us not to report her cuz she was allergic to beans—and then extended this further to say she was "protein hypo-allergic". Mike became overly obsessed hunting witches (he was very drunk). "Burn her, she's a witch! She turned me into a newt... well, i got better." Eventually Chawn and i caught Dave and i beaned him myself. Priest in training. Isabelle came up and talked to me for a while. Very sober girl with a good head on her shoulders. Still going out with Jim (Mr. Arrogant) who i met before at the West Stronghold last April (back when Sather messed around with Brett in the tent and started the whole scandal that dissolved that circle of friends). There was a move to go up on the rock, but not me. I guess i'm a party pooper when it comes to this kind of stuff. Seems this is always how accidents happen... dozens of drunk people trying to climb on top of a 30 foot rock. Then i'm talking to Paula and realize her forehead is devoid of any refried smear—she managed to slyly slip into the forest during the beaning. A pure virgin, still left. Chawn held her down while i beaned her, to a cheering chorus of "bean her!" from on top of the rock. Now that's 2 this priest in training has under our belt, maybe i'll get elected next year. Then came another chant of "virgin!" from on top of the rock so i took the whole pot of beans and hurled it up on the rock. We decided to go to bed early (12:00) so we could wake up early and be first to do Moby Dick.
Chawn got us up at 5:30, still pitch dark. What a complete nutcase. It was freezing out and my sleeping bag was so warm. but i got up and ate the leftover Thai food from Friday night and some cowboy coffee and i waited for them while they ate boiled sausages. Then we went up the stream bed bush whack, past Pale Face, another 1½ hour (cuz of Dave and the Schultzer) bush whack. At one point i went too high trying to find a better way and had to free climb up this chimney of shitty rock, scarey cuz i had to take my pack off while hanging there so i could squeeze through the chimney and coming down onto this huge rock that i discovered was loose. Finally to the beginning of Moby Dick, a 5-pitch 5.7+. We weren't really sure it was it until i went to take a dump and saw the first belay bolts. I went first. It was nice that both Chawn and I had belay slaves, that way we could each lead the whole thing. There weren't many good placements on the first pitch, a large flaring lip that you couldn't do much with so usually climbed on the face next to it. The first belay stance was uncomfortable and Dave took a fall though i caught him right away. He was not enjoying himself, bitching and whining about everything. I was already nervous about his inexperience (never belayed someone on lead). The beginning of the 2nd pitch i had to traverse a thin patch of face over Dave before my 1st placement. I felt better after that, though it was a hard pitch. Still a flaring lip that you couldn't use except to traverse over to make placements. But there was a bolt on the crux which was nice. The 2nd belay stance was chill. A ledge you could sit on with 2 pine trees. Took off my shoes and kicked back. Dave fell on the traverse and almost hit Chawn who was already Schultz. He did it again and fell again and penjy’ed to the other side so he didn't have to do the move. When he got up he was really bitching and moaning and said he wanted to rappel off. I ignored him and patiently did the 3rd pitch. The first half being relatively easy but it got a little thing towards the top. And i was running out of webbing to tie off the chicken-heads for a belay, but i made do cobbling bits of short slings together. I had a good stance so it wasn't that bad, but still i had to assume Dave would fall. But he didn't and had a better attitude. He was admitted that he wasn't as good a climber as he thought (he was being really cocky before saying he was a natural born climber that could climb anything) and he thanked me for being patient and mellow. I was glad to hurry up and clip into the bolt 20 feet up from that chickenhead stance, then traversed along a face to another bolt then up this chimney with a block in it to another bitchin belay stance that felt like sitting in a dinosaur jawbone. It was lined with sharp teeth-like rocks, kind of like a little fortress. Had to wait there for an hour as we waited for Chawn and Lee. Wanted to make sure they had enough slings to wrap off the chickenhead. But not a bad place to wait, in the dinosaur jaw, nice and sunny, watching other climbers now waking up, across the gulley on Warpaint, lots of voices echoing in the valley, "on belay-ay-ay... rock-rock-rock!" Someone even yelling "falling!" then the sound of someone smacking on the rock, followed by "you okay?" Finally Dave followed the pitch up to the dinosaur jaw. The fifth pitch was excellent, a steep face of chickenheads, but scary as hell cuz there was only 2 bolts in the 80 feet. I tried to tie off some chickenheads but they weren't so secure and came off. If i had fallen before the 2nd bolt i probably would fallen at least 40 feet onto the dinosaur teeth. It was a rush. Set up a belay in a dike and pissed and a black lizard ran over started sniffing my urine. The last pitch was 4th class and that was it. Very cool on top. I found a chalkbag. Waited for Chawn + Lee then rappelled off the backside as the sun was starting to set. Awesome rappel. 100 feet free hanging. When you lean back from the chains you can't even see the bottom until you go over the edge. Had to deproach in the dark and it took forever. If it was just Chawn and I we would have been out of there in ½ hour or less. But we had to wait for Lee who was trashed, but hey, not bad for a 57-year old. Stopped in Benson at some country-bumfuck coffee shop. By the time we got back to Tucson it was 2 a.m.
Nov 5, 1992
It's that time of year when you ride your bike home and it's freezing and the smell of homey wood fires is in the air. And you really get a feeling of each house containing a special world for those inhabitants. And you reach your hands into the pockets of the jacket you haven't worn since last spring and discover a $10 bill. You can smell the cold. You can feel it in your noise, sniffling. The air so vacuous and clear and blue. That piney smell. I've been sleeping a lot lately. Well, i guess as much as a normal person, 7-8 hours a night. It's just so nice under blankets. Rubbing cold feet together until they get warm. Having that single dignity feeling of being free and having that longing feeling that feels good even if not fulfilled, the sense it will be one day. Last night went with [C] to Ultimate. At some park in Southwest Tucson. We showed up and wondered where the others were. We noticed a few parked vans with suspicious people inside. Then 6 cars pulled up very slowly with their lights off and then a dozen or so dudes in riot gear piled out of the vehicles. Two stormed the front door with a battering ram while the others surrounded the building and got up on the roof, etc. I heard a woman scream and they pulled out some guy with no shirt on. Then they got a welder and torched another other door open.
Election day was Tuesday. The dough boy won. Prop 110 was soundly defeated, prop 300 passed but 200 was defeated. Grrrr. Blatant lies. But i'm just happy everything else went well. I feel a little better about humanity. Finally the oppressive Bush-Reagan years are over.
Nov 8— 3:15 a.m.
Friday i had to hectically try to do my mechanics homework. After changing and re-arranging plans, Harlow came over at 7:30 and we went to buy polypropylene and gas. Packed the turquoise panther love machine. Shaheen and Schultz showed up and only stopping at the store to get beer. West on Ajo, to Baboquivari—the home I'Itoi—the god of the Tohono O'odham. Drove west towards Kitt peak then towards Babo. Amazing hunk of rock. Then on a dirt road for an hour or so and then we started hiking, just as it was sunset. Past the Babo Ranch and then past the most fertile and fruitful prickly pear patch i have ever seen. I took note. I must have had 60 lbs of stuff in my pack, climbing gear, clothes, tent, tarp, ½ quart spaghetti sauce, 2½ gallons of water, beer, lots of other food, etc.. I'll finish this saga tomorrow, i'm too tired.
We went an hour or 2 up the trail and before it got steep we decided to scout out a flat campsite. Built a fire against a boulder and drank the Dos Equis and Beck's we lugged with us and ate bean burritos. The moon was beautiful. I could see it through a hole under a tree i was sleeping under on a bed of leaves. My night was plagued with dream too numerous to remember. Thick billowing clouds in slow motion creeping upon like fog. Waking up and there's like 50 friendly animals all patiently waiting about 20 feet away, eying our food... squirrels, marmots, skunks, badgers, coyotes, bears, etc. Something about their sincere friendly, but hungry, looks. Woke up and it was still dark. Chawn was up too. We thought it might be 5:30 or so. I was full of energy and ready to get up. We woke up the Schultzer. It was only 3:00 a.m. Went back to sleep. More dreaming. Awake at sunrise. Made coffee without getting out of my sleeping bag. Being hyper and obnoxious because it was cold. We stashed most of our gear then continued up to the saddle. Another 1½ or 2 hours. Though i could probably do it alone in ½ hour). Stashed more shit and geared up. Then we traversed across "Lion's Ledge". Really intense, this ledge barely as wide as the path that skirts all the way around high up on the cliff face. Below is 1000 feet of air. One section goes into this cave. Totally primal. I could totally picture a bunch of cave dudes chilling out in this cave with the sweet view. Or maybe some of the Tohono O'odham people coming up there to visit I'Itoi. The path along the sky continued around to the Southeast Arête (supposedly a 7 pitch 5.6). Chawn and i had gone ahead to save time and i belayed him up the first pitch. Then Shaheen and Schultz came he followed Chawn. Then i led it with Shaheen belaying me. It was a little tricky going up this crack and around a corner. Little cacti everywhere and the rock was pretty mangy. Actually we ran the 1st and 2nd pitches together. Then there was a short bushwhack and up another fairly easy pitch, i passed Lee who was belaying Chawn. There was some confusion as to the route cuz it wasn't as described in the book. But we kept going. The 3rd pitch started out on this sheer face going out over the overhanging part, that was some good climbing. Another pitch that was good besides the shitty rock in places. The next "pitch" was just a short traverse around the corner to 2 bolts. The exposure on the whole route and especially here was intense... thousands of feet down. You could see everything though it was a little hazy. There was some mining operation and they were exploding shit and the rumbling would echo off each mountain range surrounding us. The next pitch was bitching, lay back crack. Lots of frantic bushwhacking after the 6th pitch cuz the sun was starting to set. The last pitch was a 5.7 move that was basically it, then a scramble to the awesome view. There were ruins littering the top, some heliograph station the army started to build. The moon was almost full. The lighting amazing.
Nov 9, 1992
But what is a view in words? Black ink on white paper. When we got up, Harlow had already started down the other side looking for the belay bolts. It was already dark, so why rush now? I figured i would just enjoy myself rather than panic, howling and hooting like a rabid animal, which probably only stressed Harlow out even more. What a big fucking rock. Eventually i caught up with Harlow and we went ahead, found the old iron brackets and the rappel cable in the tree. I rapped down and waited in the dark, in this cool little nook looking onto these moonlit faces. They call came down, i grabbed the rope and ran ahead to the next belay bots. Dr Schultz said it was a 1-rope rappel and i believed him. I got about 30 feet from the ledge and the rope ran out. Barely made it to this ledge where i could stand. I yelled back up and Harlow set up a 2-rope rappel and i got back on. There was one more short rappel after that that i had to leave a sling behind on. After that i boogied ahead to the saddle. I really didn't feel like waiting and enjoyed hiking by myself and told them i would go ahead and make spaghetti. I stopped at our stash and got the rest of our gear then cruised the rest of the way down by moonlight. It was freaky. The feeling of being watched. You can really your own breathing. You become an intruder in the still environment. Suddenly a living being appears out of nowhere. The sound of boots scraping on rocks, almost like a horse. Animals in motion. Sure they heard me way before i got to them, observing me. I was in their zoo. Plodding on. I got to our campsite. Signs of recent activity. When i went to get our stuff from behind the boulder i was sure there would be some creatures there eating our food. Nope. I cooked the spaghetti. Had to do it in 2 pots. Dispersed the fire ring and disguised our campsite and packed. Shaheen finally showed up about an hour later. Then Harlow and the doctor 20 minutes after that. We all ate and packed and continued on. I got my black flannel shirt i lost on the way up and of course stopped to pick a bag of prickly pears at the amazing fertile field of nopales. Bright red fruit all over. When we finally got back to Tucson it was 3:30 a.m.
Brian woke me up early the next morning. Went to Blue Jays with him and Kimi. Then we drove out to the other side of the Catalinas to go to Biosphere II where we met Brian's dad and stepmom and his aunt and uncle. Had lunch, well, they did. They all drank their Budweiser, i drank coffee. Lame photo session then they all went into the Disney sphere. $13 a head, but Brian, Kimi and I were like no fucking way. We decided to walk up the hotel for a view. We saw this path that said "authorized personnel only" and started walking down it casually and next thing we knew we were inside. No one stopped us and we mingled in with the other tourists. Bypassed the "meet the Biospherians" B.S. Straight to the facility. You could walk around and look in through the dirty steamy windows. By the "rainforest" section, a lot of unhealthy looking plants. A cockroach eating it's way deep into a banana. It was an interesting concept though, i guess. The wind blew differently in there than out "here". Everything being recycled. The architecture was impressive anyway. We walked all the way around, the aggie section with rice paddies, the desert section (that was very moist) and the tidal zone with a "coral reef" and a beach. Lots of fake rock and flash. Didn’t see any Biospherians. God i'd hate to be in there and have people gawking at you like you were in a zoo. They are.
Back to Tucson. I napped then spent hours peeling and de-seeding all the prickly pears, getting thorns in my fingers, only to have my prickly pear jam not gel. I was depressed as hell. It just turned into this gooky syrup. I put brown sugar and honey and lemon and aloe in there. All to be lost in a useless goo. Rich and Mark came by and we got Brian from Bentley's to drive to the other side of town to see "Of Mice and Men". Excellent. Malkovich did an awesome job as Lenny.
What i'm trying to say is i spent all weekend in another weekend of leisure. Procrastination. Gonna take that monday morning shit and get my head into a book.
Nov 10, 1992
Blew everything off today (actually yesterday as it's 12:45 a.m.) and went climbing. Coffee at Bentley's then up to Chimney rock with Chawn. Figured we'd go there til it warmed up. Ed and Paul drove up as we were gearing up. First i led George's Buttress, a difficult 5.7. It had this weird little roof you had to traverse under. Then Chawn led Mistaken Identity, a 5.9–, Chawn's first 5.9 lead. It was a fun climb. Then Stoner's Boner, another 5.9 (we top-roped it). It was sustained and it was good to finally feel the Popeye arms. Then i led the first pitch of Stripper (5.8). It starts in a tree and you stem onto the face, which is scary, then a scary traverse to a bolt, from there it was a piece of cake. Chawn led the 2nd pitch which was 5.7 but sustained. It got cold suddenly and i was numb when i "took out the stiches". We decided against doing FIUTT and decided to hit lower warmer ground at Green Slabs. I led Here and Gone (5.8). It was cold and windy which added an element. The crux at the bolt wasn't bad probably cuz bolts feel like insurance to me. I got stuck in this awkward position in the "vagina".... one of those moments where it really hits you how alive you are, a reality check. Here i am clinging to the side of a cliff, my face 2 inches from the rock, the wind howling and i'm trying to make a placement and feel like i'm gonna fall. But i finally realized it was better on the face and found those "thank god" jugs. Continued up the boiler plates, excellent fun, intimidating vertical stuff. Chawn was freezing by the time he came up. I don't know, something about leading is like operating. Stitching up the rock. It's a piece of art. You move up the rock, sewing your way up, finding the holds, delicate strength, firm balance, deliberate movement. Tai Chi on rock.
Had to quit after that, too cold. Went to Coffee etc. then when i got back there was a message from Zo that the Breeders were at Ben's Genitals so i went. There was no one there at first and they were hanging out at the bar so i chatted with them a bit. Then they went on, grungy and tight and loud, a cool positive attitude, by that time it was crowded as hell.
Friday November 13
We are victimized by reality. We let it control us. We believe in gravity so it happens. We believe we will die. We collapse our wave function by believing, making them destined to happen. We seek meaning in reality, even in books. What do we seek and will the search ever end? There is nothing to learn. We can only absorb a premonition of intuition. Everything here is a metaphor for something else inside this bag of skin. Climbing a rock is a metaphor for the inward struggle. Each bolt is a new level of security we can fall back to, like electron in their orbits. Reality is giving us hints but it is telling us too much It is deception. I must forsake all knowledge and think in terms of process. Not even think but feel. Be. It is nothing that can be said. I cannot say it here. I can say i feel a change coming over me. But i'm making it happen. I must give up believing in this world, in it's trivialities.
Just came back from eating at El Toritos and seeing Dracula with about a dozen people including Lydia. She is luscious, reminds me a bit of Zo, especially the way her hair meets her face, and the leather jacket. Those delicate hands like porcelain. She carries herself well. But i'm not swept away by desire, it's all in pursuit itself and will crumble into disappoint once obtained.
Am i a fool to want my dreams to speak to me?
Beautiful day. Fuck it, s'climb. Parmenta had jury duty. I finished my paper, so why not. First i led Agatha Christie. Intimidating looking and sustained, nice layback. Cool for a 5.7. Then went over to Mean Mistreater slab where Chawn led Crab Corner (5.8), piece of cake to when i led it before and struggled up in the roof. Didn't bother with the second pitch but instead top-roped Easy Slider (5.10d) which ran off the same belay bolts. Chawn went first got by some very thin shit but fell twice at what we presumed was the crux. I got up there and tried 4 or 5 times but kept peeling off, very thin smearing. So we gave up and did Rich and Dave. Chawn led the first pitch (5.8+) which had a weird mantle at a bolt. Then i led the 2nd pitch up a crack, into a squeeze chimney and onto an arête, lots of fun. Then i led Grabbin' em da Biscuit, a 5.8 (which Chawn and i think should be 5.8+), lots of weird off-balance moves, extended, eventually to this roof. Good climbing and lots of bolts. Would have been a great climb to take my first lead fall on but no. So then i did Ego Donor (5.9), my first 5.9 lead... well besides that 5.9 crack i did in Yosemite by accident). I was pumped. Finger traverse and up onto the face to clip bolt 2. Then reach high, pull up. Little ledges, bolt 3. Lay back, stem past the thank god hold and up onto the ledge. Halftime. I forgot to bring the rest of the quickdraws so had to haul them up. The second ½ is easier but still hard and fun as hell. Little lips. Very vertical but there are nice little lips to crimp on. Passed bolt 5, 6, 7 and there it is. The sun was setting in a most excellent way. Chawn had to get me cheesecake at Coffee Etc. It's becoming tradition whenever we hit the next grade.
if our memory serves us, this is Ego Donor (5.9)
I am 26 now. 26 orbits around the big ball of infinite goo. Spinning and spinning within spinning and spinning within spinning. At least i'm enjoying the ride. 26, geez, i'm like an official person. I always have been, but i associate 26 with a full-blown adult with a career. Well i'm full blown student of life and always will be. I can't imagine changing much so this is it. I mean, some "primitive thisness" remains constant. I also remember Robert Smith saying that when he reached 26 he would kill himself and then his 26th birthday came along and he didn't and his fans were disappointed, so really 26 is the age he sold out. So i've made my 26th placement on this long long climb and what better day to spend my b-day than climbing? I taught the last lab and finished corrections on my paper (What the Quantum Field Is (... A Field) [embedded in journal, so here it is scanned in for prosperity:]
then we were set to go. We decided to take 2 cars. Nick and [C] in her Honda while Chawn and I took his jeep up to Phoenix to get the truck. We stopped briefly at his house then moved on. We ended up driving all the way through the monument to 29 Palms and back in at Indian Cove, arriving in the middle of the night. Nick and C were already there. It was cold. I got C's cot since she was sleeping in the tent and found a little cubby-hole but still froze my ass off. Got a late start the next morning because of the cold. First climb we did was called Picnic (5.6) on Campfire crag. Chawn led it, it was a piece of shit. But above that was Kundalini Linguini Weenie (5.8) a short 2-bolt face climb that i led. Clipped the 1st bolt then the 2nd over some real thin terrain. I was maybe 5 feet above the 2nd bolt and it got dicey, but i was thinking this is 5.8 it can't be so bad. So i started smearing but there was nothing to grab and i could feel my feet slowly slipping, my hands sweating but i was in way too precarious a position to chalk up. I knew i was gonna fall for like 20 seconds, when i did i was like "well, this is it, this is what it's like" I whipped back into the face below with an "uuummmmpphh." Slapping the rock with my thigh. The bolt held. I looked down, Chawn looked more scared than me. Said he was pumped with adrenalin. I tried it again, retracing my footsteps to where i fell. I looked down and to the left and there was a nice little dish. I could have slapped myself. I was going about it all wrong. I stepped aside and went up. Belayed Nick and C who hang-dogged and fell all the way up. Then we went to Pixie Rock where Chawn led Who's First, a classic 5.6 with 20 or 30 feet of runout to start out (PG, hah). We let C and Nick play around that while we TR'ed Silent Scream (5.10a). Chawn went up and then down climbed, then went up again and finished it. I did it with no real problems. I was surprised, expecting to struggle at the crux but next thing i knew i was up. It was getting dark, windy and cold. We decided to go into town ate Mexican food. We bought a 12-pac of beer and a bottle of wine and went back to camp, though we never left the car it was so fucking cold, windy and inhospitable. We just sat in the car telling stories and playing cards. Every once in a while we would forget.. in the car it was so toasty and it didn't look so bad outside, but we'd open the door and instantly our minds changed. When midnight came and time to hit the sack Chawn and I thought we'd sleep in the car (Nick and C had the tent). C showed us how we could take the backseat out and sleep with our heads in the trunk. It was weird. But i'm game for that feeling of waking up in weird places. We pooped the trunk in the morning and the passing cars were starting at us like we were paraplegics. And then brown bear juice and granola and soaking some sun to try to warm up then unleash brown bear in the porta John, and then climbing time. Went to Moosedog tower and to be more efficient we split into groups, C was my belay slave, Nick was Chawn's. First i led Tranquility—the 5.8 variation. There was 50 feet or so of 5.2 (no placements) then this tricky 5.8 roof crack power move, but i made it. C hanged-dog the 5.8 move but didn't fall. The next pitch was easy 5.6, I made 1 placement. Meanwhile Chawn and Nick were slowly coming up Quien Sabe. We rapped down and switched, and we went up Quien Sabe (5.7). Kind of scary, they called it PG. I climbed up 15 feet and was about to make a placement the whole flake felt loose. So i kept going til i found a cruddy cam pocket maybe 25 or 30 feet up. Then there wasn't really another placement for another 20 feet. But then there was some up by the crux, a kind of dihedral ramp. C followed and dropped my #2 camalot about 60 feet (i tried to actual casual like it was no big deal). After that Nick and C went for a hike and Chawn and I did Lucky Charms. He led it, up this shitty rock when he got to the 5.7 crack he opted against it and continued up the 5.6 route. And that's all we had time for. I did a little more bouldering then we hung around. I figured Susanna flaked on us. I just talked to her and she was sick first of all and then their car broke down. We went into town (Joshua Tree) it was funny cuz i was joking about how we could eat Thai food for my birthday and there was a Thai restaurant, and it was pretty good. We ordered our soup extra spicy. It was. We were frying our heads off. It was religious. Numbing. Tasty. We ate grandly and massively. Then we got ice cream, looked for excitement and didn't find any so got a 12-pac and headed back. There was a note from Susanna and she left me a U2 T-shirt (she was in town looking for us at that time). We built a fire and vegged. A little more of C was revealed. How she wishes she was a guy so she could stand beside her brother (who looks more "Indian") when he got hassled. Stories reservation life, about a medicine man who put coals in his mouth. Susanna and Nikki never showed up. Slept in the open that night. The stars were beautiful. Kept getting woken up by little animals scurrying about. Unnerving. The next day was an excellent day of climbing. Talked C and Nick into going to the park proper to be sight-seers. So just Chawn and i went off. First i led We Drive Before Dawn, a 5.8 crack that was very strenuous, especially making placements. Then Chawn led The Reverend, a 5.8 jam crack, toe jam, fist jam, inching up. Then i led Driving Limitations, a shitty 3-bolt 5.8 face climb with sketchy rock. We also top-roped Bats of Power (5.10a) and did We Drive Before Dawn again on TR. Ate beans and tortillas then went over to the Palm Reader, this bitching 5.8 finger/hand crack. I had to belay Chawn from this ledge while he climbed right over me, if he fell he would have landed right on me. He was pumped and struggling but made it. I followed, i can see why they call it Palm Reader. It not only makes your palms and hands red but it does feel like you have some sort of communion with the rock, like you're sharing your life secrets. Many hands have gone deep into that crack. Thumbs down finger jamming. ½ way up it got wide enough to toe jam. The crux was getting off it. A long reach to the right and a traverse with no footholds then up. So cool we did it again, then decided we should get going. Drove via 177. Sunflower seeds, coffee. I drove most of the way. Got to Tucson at 2 a.m.
Thanksgiving Nov 26, 1992
There's a duck leg in my stomach. Wednesday night i went and saw Malcolm X, inspiring but i think he's a fool for buying into organized religion and then pushing it on others. He should have stuck to social/political agenda. Afterwards went to Club Congress. Met Shaheen and Mark there. Danced a lot with this girl named Sheila and her friend. And of course did the Denny's thing after. Today i ran. The city is empty. Mark came by. I wanted to make prickly pear pie but we could find any that were budding. Instead i gave them my big cactus that is outgrowing it's pot and made apple pie. Elizabeth made carrot soup, scalloped potatoes, duck, venison, broccoli, etc. We went to see Zulu Spear afterwards. Some girl comes up to me completely gorgeous, totally my type, dark with crystal blue eyes, smelling of patchouli and says "do you have a dollar so i can buy a beer." Hmm, what to say... you can either be a dick for brains fool or be a stingy bastard. I had a $10 bill so said i'd buy her a drink. Ends up she's from Colorado, in Tucson for the weekend visiting her parents. The funny thing is she was with this guy, maybe her brother i don't know. We danced all night. And the end of the evening she gave me a big hug and walked off. Ok, no more fun. I got to crack down and study.
"Then — it was over till 1999. What remained was the sense of the comfort which we get used to, of plenty of light, and color. This for some time seemed a definitely welcome thing. Yet when it became established all over the country, one rather missed the sense of its being a relief and a respite, which one had had when it came back after the darkness. How can I express the darkness? It was a sudden plunge, when one did not expect it; being at the mercy of the sky; our own nobility; the druids; Stonehenge; and the racing red dogs; all that was in one’s mind." —Virginia Woolf's account of 1927 Eclipse from A Writer's Diary [followed by sketch of eclipse]
Studied Friday and Saturday, coffee shop hopping... Bowen and Bailey, Pony Espresso. They closed at 4 p. so i had to go to the library. They closed at 6 pm, turned the lights off on me. Then to Bentley’s. A warm well-lit place, with coffee. Outside it's cold. Still at Bentley's now and it's approaching 12 pm and i have to ride home in the cold. Brrr.
Went to Aquagomy this morning after staying up til 3 am last night with Mark and Vianni, seeing Aladdin then going to Jack's party. It was cold but we figured we were there. First we did Spacewalk, a 5.6+ which was actually sorta hard. The rock was cold and slick. The rubber didn't seem be working too well. Fingers numb. Slab Climbing. Chawn led the next pitch and took forever. and i was getting really cold so we decided to tail, traversed over to this tree and rappelled down to 2 bolts then rapped again. Noticed the Poison Ivy everywhere. On the way we stopped at Gates Pass and TR'ed some of the more difficult bouldering problems. Got really pumped. Went home and fixed my new culinary passion, "healthy" tacos—beans and rice with spinach and cilantro, green onions and of course green tomatillo salsa that is the icing. Well, I'm about to get kicked out, into the cold. The cold air smelling of piñon from all the cozy home fires. How i long for a cozy girlfriend to await me at home.
Dec. 4, 1992
2 nights ago i dreamt [not yet logged in Dream Journal] about a huge cantaloupe, maybe 20 feet in diameter. Last night i dream i was driving with Jeff and was disgusted at all the garbage, worst yet there were bags that were ½ full of food, somebody would buy a bag of chips, eat a few, then throw the whole bag away. We stopped at a bike shop. There were 2 girls flirting with us who liked BMX bikes (as opposed to more adult "mountain" bikes). It seemed Jeff was about to pull off the ultimate caper of stealing the equations that could destroy the universe. I noticed the equations were the same as those to create the universe in reverse.
Dreamt [again, not yet logged] of a huge bear, maybe 12 feet high that terrorized our house. It was a scary looking beast. I went into my childhood bedroom and removed some ceiling tiles to prepare to crawl through the roof if the bear came. People opened doors for it because they didn't want the bear to smash doors down.
Then i was sent back to grade school with Chawn. We were given these easy assignments of adding numbers and i felt proud i could do them. I had to go to the bathroom. When i got to the urinal it started busting out of my belly button, frothy carrot juice gushing forth. When i tried to flush it it got clogged. It had nuts and fruits in it that were causing the clog. When i got back the teacher was asking me why i took a shower.
Strangely enough (considering our dream from a few nights ago) when Chawn dropped me off last night we noticed a bag that someone had thrown in back and it still had chips in it. I'm feeling vaguely too comfortable, too much in a routine. Like i'm getting old and mellowing out. But i'm pretty genuinely happy, and it's not euphoric, so i guess that's better. I'm just pretty fucking tired and i don't know why i thought to write now.
As i was pulling this out some vagrant bohemian with a leather jacket, John Lennon glasses and a twister smile said, "you know, the pigeons are really cocky this time of week cuz the crows are roosting" as he was spilling Time market coffee on his hand. I thought to ask how a pigeon would know what time of week it was but he was gone. All the trendy fashion bikers are out, in their day-glo tight clothes and little water packs on their backs.
Had my Quantum take home text Thursday ... no problema. It was actually a lot of fun, had to use elliptic integrals to find the bound states of the quantum mechanical pendulum. But that's history and i'm sure i did alright.
Went to the opening of the climbing gym yesterday. Free Ultimate smoothies. Free Power bars. Free Magpie pizza. Free climbing. Free massages. Kind of weird climbing indoors on fake holds. Very contrived. But i guess it's a workout. It was a hectic and crowded and everybody that was anyone was there. I bailed with the intention of studying all day then Chawn comes by and says "let's go caving" so of course i say yes, went to Agua Caliente and did the upper loop. very technical and dangerous. When we got to the end of the loop we rapped down this hole with the rope slung over a horizontal column/bean. Chawn wanted to try climbing it so i squeezed into the chimney and tied off the column and belayed him with the rope going through a hole between my legs, and of course i'm in complete darkness cuz i didn't want to shine my light in his face. It was definitely the coolest belay stance. Wedged in this chimney sitting on a stone beam watching Chawn's headlamp emerge from this overhang. He couldn't do it so i came down and gave it a go. Got to the overhang with the jug undercling. Rather than lunge for the column i used pressure from my leg to stabilize myself then reach. I got it. Then grabbed this crystal nodule. I was there for maybe 30 seconds but couldn't hold it. My hands ripped across the crystal and i flung out of the overhang on the static rope. Oh well, it was fun. Overhang with big jugs. Went to eat at Mi Niditos.
I'm inspired to write this philosophy paper. I wanted to do it on quantized space-time and how it solves the renormalization problem of Q.E.D. and in my reference searches found lots of cool stuff pertaining to quantized space time and Quantum gravity, i.e. quantum general relativity. But Healey thought i would go too far astray and this was all too weird. Maybe i'll do it for my dissertation cuz i think it's cool shit. Now I'm gonna write in on why particles don't exist. I'm trying to think of a familiar analogy. It would be kind of like fishing. Say the ocean just life. No form to it. Just a black box. It's only when we bait the book and catch the fish do we realize it's form. The only thing is we are sure that fish exist. but the fish is dead. It's not the same living fish that exists in the dark sea when we're not looking.
Dec . 12
Wow, i feel really inspired and only have 3 pages left in this journal. This is the last cigarette before i'm sentence to death. Death. That was my obsession 2 days ago when i was throwing around the particles don't exist concept and took it further to stay that particles are dead. I was struggling a lot for the metaphor, i knew it was there. I kept thinking fishing then i realized that particle detectors are like bear traps, we trap an animal and kill it, then look at and make conclusions about what bears are like in the wild. Particles are dead corpses. Remnants of some vibrant energy. By observing things we kill them. The clinical eye will shoot itself in the foot. So today i realize that physics is an autopsy of reality.
confined to the boundary
we stray not into that which
we don't know not to know
forever in desperation on the edge
of the forest dark and deep
we set the traps
we wait, we shoot
we kill for knowledge
but we shoot ourselves in the foot
the beast collapses to the ground (on the boundary)
the sound, heavy flesh on soil
reverberating the ground
the jolted eye full of fear looking up
blood on soil
with our clinical eye, we cut and dissect
dismember the corpse
the carcass strewn across the boundary
the rage only eft in the white of beast's eyes
[continues to next page, here's the hand-written original:]
[Dec 19 (continued from above)... been hanging out at Pony Espresso—my home away] from home, studying and drinking "long pulls" and looking at girls. My mechanics exam sucked big time. I was miserable, my stomach churning, a bug in my throat and not a faint idea what to do. But it's over. I know i got an A in Quantum so that's cool. Things with C are getting weird. She had a lot of bad shit go down. [X] almost forcibly date-raped her, then next thing she knew he's told everyone that they slept together. Then [Y] started coming onto her, N won't talk to her, etc. Seems like everyone wants to have sex with her except me, which seems to make her only more interested in me. That whole Ultimate crowd is weird psycho, those New York girls tied T up then stripped him naked and started whipping him. Everybody sleeping with everybody. I'm so glad i'm not implicated in that scene. So she spills her guts out to me and i'm telling her to forget about those Ultimate guys and she's like "yah, i'll focus on my studies and work more..." so last night (this was all yesterday) after going to Michelle's surprise party in which she showed up completely plastered then riding in the rain to Gentle Ben's and dealing with that scene Mark and I go to Denny's and we run into C and she says her boss asked her out for a drink then tried to come onto her and she turned him down and then he said "so where does that leave us at work?" messed up. All her situations are messed up, everyone taking advantage of her.
Well this journal is finite, got to wrap it up. Summer solstice to Winter solstice... almost. 6 months, ½ an orbit. Opposite side of the big ball of plasma goo. Physics is an autopsy of reality.
[next journal starts back up in post #748]