Monday, February 27, 2012

New Skin

“You girls have been here a while now…” says the desk clerk at the Veterans Memorial community center. I am blow-drying my hair and C just stepped into a shower stall. I met this woman, Deb, a month ago. It was the same day that D and R introduced me to 6 dollar a week memberships and unlimited showers and yoga classes. Deb had just returned to work after two years of being unemployed, she is washing her hands. She had been let off during the recession and only now was welcomed back part time. Evidence of the economic downturn are everywhere in Vegas, you don’t have to look very hard to see it.

I blush and smile into the mirror.  “ yea, its been a while I guess…. Its hard to leave this place”. Deb smiles in a polite kind of way and exits the scene. I look back at the mirror. I feel clean for the first time in a week. This morning I woke up ready for a rest day, to reorganize the car, write the things I need to write, and feed the fire for new projects.

View from the top of Birdland
Since the boys left, myself and C have been focusing on our goals; pushing grade on trad, crack climbing, and of course maintaining a bit of enthusiasm for our guilty pleasures in clipping draws that are hard to get to. Two days earlier we spent the entire afternoon top roping and leading two crack climbs, hoping to gain some kind of technical advantage on it. At the end of the day our knuckles and the backsides of our hands were so swollen we could barely hold anything, but it felt good. It felt like progress. Our bodies are learning.

Ying Yang 5.11c, Atman 5.10a : epic top rope laps

Cut loose! 5.10d mixed climb

Waking up yesterday, preparation and departure for the park was out of habit but I could not focus, I could not clip, I could not lead. We made some yo-yo attempts at climbs which (one week earlier) we were flying up, while W patiently listened to our banter and babble. My brain and my fingers were reflecting each other; deranged, thin, and unresponsive. Although tired, I feel that something great is happening, something is changing inside of me. Over and above climbing rocks, I am moving towards something.

I feel like I have finally shed the skins of all my memories on road trips. The baggage of car-life- past and prior loves are gone; a new skin has grown in place. I no longer drive around saying “ this is where we did this” or reminiscing old scenes with friends and comforts I used to have. To explain my adoration with living in my car seems nearly impossible. It also seems ridiculous that I am sharing this giddy- happiness with a friend. C and I have agreed that sleeping in our cars is actually more comfortable than any other bed we have had.   She is also coming away from many things in her life to be here, to push herself forward. The independence of a vehicle, the solitude of the desert and the opportunity to take the chances necessary to become what we can be.

Maybe its time for a rest day though.
It is different for everyone. Right now I don’t know where I will be, but I know that for now I am growing new skin.

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