|American Fork, Hell Cave|
|Half Acre 5.12a|
…The problem that arises from the constant desire to be somewhere else, to be doing something other then what you are doing presently, to attempt to fulfill a present hole by perpetually striving for whatever the future may hold, is a rapaciousness that becomes a habitual bite – jaws that won't unlock until you're shaken out of your mortal skin. It teaches a running complacency, & the wanted destination gets farther & farther until finally you forget in what direction you were even headed initially & it becomes a mirage of a pin-point somewhere out on the curving horizon; you begin to wander endlessly to & fro, thirsty for that oasis, passing by all the little streams trickling easily under foot... Rehab is such a desert. A dry, almost lifeless desert – devoid of anything you could ever want, if you choose it to be such a place. Which most do. Including myself, until that day where realization quite accidentally cratered the soil of my earth...
I am already pointing out the wet holds – streaks of water here & there – on Half Acre as Mark catches up to me, shedding his pack, letting it off gently as if it were a child. Dammit, I say. 'That last storm must have precipitated a lot here the other day.' Mark points out. He walks up to the route, eyeing it closely. 'The spots that are wet, are they crucial holds?” He asks me. I don't know, I've never been on it, but probably. I say this while pantomiming clipping imaginary draws, dictating each hold from which I would clip. Dammit! As soon as I say this, I feel the frustration slick off me, something feathering the discomfited dust from off my being.
|Half Acre, seeping water|
California, in January, is oft times wet, cold, & miserable. The rain doesn’t PLUNK down in dewy drops, but rather razors itself down upon you in stinging torrents. It was like this both when I was there in my late teens for Marine Corps boot camp, & most of the time I was in Rehab. Albert C. & I were standing underneath an awning next to our room, smoking one of the innumerable cigarettes of the day. It was late. We stood there, watching the downpour in a thick air of gloominess. ‘This fucking sucks, man,’ Albert C. said. I knew he wasn’t talking about the weather. I knew also, where this was going. ‘How long have we been here now? 31/2 months? 4? Fucking 5? Hell I don’t even know anymore. I want to go home. I have things to do! Christ, I just want my life back!’ Sick to my stomach w/ all of it, w/ him, w/ the place & situation, w/ myself. I told him to stop fucking complaining. What is it going to get you? Is it going to get you home faster? No, I answered for him. Besides, Albert, I said, flicking my half-smoked cigarette up & out, you did this to yourself. You did! No one else! How about you start, for once in your life, taking responsibility for yourself. You’ll find that shit will start working out for you if you start doing that. Grow up! I walked into our room & slammed the door, & like a mighty tree, felled myself upon the bed, feeling exhausted. In my slumber, as soon as my head touched pillow, I realized what I had said wasn’t directed toward Albert C. That it was myself talking to myself as if in front of a mirror. Such sudden insights are rarely poetic. Mostly, they are ugly, self effacing, paralyzing, because they are always an atomic truth igniting your ego into hot licking flames of fury…
|Lewis rapping off the Gateway 5.12a|