1) Muse’s directive: “Use the following verbs in any way you wish: racket, snug, green, spoon, boggle, snake. Not all verbs, you say?…Verbs are sometimes a matter of opinion.”
We stroll into the climbing gym, Sandy and I, with gear in hand. We’re eager to get started. But no sooner does my sandaled foot touch the floor than a gaggle of girl scouts pours through the door behind us. They flow and break around us like a rushing current, and we stand, inert as stones in a stream. The clan rackets about, pushing, howling, giggling, poking, biting. I wonder momentarily if we are actually in the company of chimps who’ve been snugged up in official green vests to be passed off for real human offspring. I’d probably try that too if it meant I’d be granted year-round access to Thin Mints and Samoas. Fearing rabies, Sandy and I hopscotch around the girls.
Once in the inner sanctum of the gym, we begin to gear up.
“Hah, watch that buckle, Colt,” Sandy sneers at my Craigslist harness, “Make a ‘C’ not an ‘O’,”he advises. I’m glad he’s reminded me because this isn’t a design I’m accustomed to. This thing looked more trustworthy in the picture. I actually think there’s a burn mark on one of the leg straps. Who needs those anyway?
We stub our toes into our climbing shoes and chalk up our hands. Sandy starts doing some static stretches to warm up, but I try to jump right onto my favorite V1 bouldering problem. I’m thwarted by a guy trying to green a barbie to bouldering for the first time. It’s plain as day she’s not outdoorsy and only came here because she’s into the dude.
I skirt around them and start canvassing the wall to get limber, spooning my heel to the bigger holds so i can stretch out my legs. Once Sandy and I are both warm and content, we meander through the hoard of chimp-scouts and head for the top roping section of the gym.
I’m climbing first, so I thread my figure-eight and barrel knot into the rope in front of the track I’ve been eyeing. It’s a 5.9+ with an overhang at the top where all the holds look to get sparse. I’m just starting to plot out my moves when a girl on the next track (a 5.11) catches my eye. Sandy takes note of my distraction, and we collectively boggle out because we suddenly don’t feel very manly. This chick’s got guns to spare and she moves quick like a spider, which is attractive in a creepy way.
I shake my head to clear it and give Sandy the word that I’m ready. He clicks the safety on the biner and takes up the slack through his ATC while I approach the wall. Smearing the sole of my right shoe in a backstep, I grip the first jug with my left hand. I let my center of gravity rest in my hips against the wall before I snake my right hand up for the next hold.
2) My current word count for my novel is: 17,866/30,000.
3) Muse’s next directive: “Who’s the tallest person you know? The homeliest? The crankiest? The meekest? People at the bitter end of any continuum invite trouble. Begin with an extreme and see what happens.”
P.S. Explore here for more fun with climbing lingo.