Sitting in the van again. This time on the bed while Yoav stretches on the floor.  Anderson .Paak and Leon Bridges for backdrop. Only minor distraction.  Every now and then I gotta do a little chest or booty pop.  Five minutes ago Yoav and I were dancing on our shins jugging our chests in each other’s faces to “Silicon Valley.”  If that song doesn’t make you do that with your partner, well … maybe give it a try’s all I’m saying.  Maybe the glass of wine after another full day out in the sun rock scrambling and not enough food to blanket the fall’s what did it. Or the second glass with dinner while waiting for the rest of our camping posse to show up (they went out to eat like people who embrace the ease of going out to eat every now and again.  I’m still working on that. Maybe after this fast I’ll attempt another entitled “treat yourself.”)

 We made onion, cabbage, egg, tahini, tuna and tomato tacos. If you don’t think that’s a thing … Maybe give it a try’s all I’m saying. Our smells like onions. It’s a staple for us so can’t say it’s unusual, and so by way of that argument, it’s not funky.

 Now the playlist’s shifted to Arcade Fire and my vibes are going elsewhere to a place I don’t necessarily prefer. The taste of fall’s blowing through the side door held open by the night gusts and I hear voices. The others have arrived.

This might be the moment I bail even sooner than I did last night, because reality’s sinking in/literally knocking on the van door. The kind that’s right in front of your face and if you don’t invite it in, chat with it, touch it, share a beer and a story with it, then you’ll be forced to live inside other stories you’ve invented to replace lost chances.  Not that those can’t be any good.  I’m just not so good at making them up yet.  Maybe when I can make up a really great story, I won’t need to go search them out as often.

Anyway, Yoav and I have been behaving well beyond our years since getting this beastly van (large to us, though we still can’t stand up. Thus the earlier shin dancing).  We play cribbage with our ‘happy hours’ of random cracker snacks we found on special at Grocery Outlet and boxed wine, listen to a lot of podcasts (just today I’m pretty sure I referenced three episodes in general conversation. My excuse is it was a long hike up.  And we were out there for like, eight hours.  But three references are a touch overkiill.), share a crossword with morning coffee, and generally shut the outside world out like people in houses do, but without the standing up part and overrated shower thing.  Sometimes I convince him to massage my shoulders, back and feet.  We read for at least an hour in bed before lights out.  Sure, we do other things I don’t wanna imagine old people doing (but now that I am, it’s pretty beautiful and helplessly romantic), but the general point is, we need to capture and encapsulate these social moments, wring them out for all they’re worth, and derive as much possible perspective, positivity, love and stroke from the people we have the luck of surrounding ourselves with when we get the chance.

Climbing wouldn’t be nearly as addictive or inspiring or gratifying if it weren’t for the community climbing attracts and creates and perpetuates.  I like threes right now (and parentheses).   I feel so #blessed to share space, a rope, laughs, snacks, and ever-changing, elucidating conversation with such voracious humans.  Whether we’re discussing gender politics or dog training or cultural phenomena like sharing, opening up about family dynamics or history, or simply reminiscing together about the last climb (and mental/emotional struggle we shared on said climb) we belayed each other up, these conversations revive me.  I forget how close you can get with someone whose life’s literally dangling between your compressed fingers and palm (and yes, the mechanical virtue of a Gri Gri.  A gri gri. Gri-gri? I don’t know how they brand it.) And how close you’ll forever be to these people who understand the siren call and obsession and weariness and soul-punch of a rock face.  The addiction of the puzzle, the effort that goes into something so seemingly inconsequential, yet so life-altering. 

Oh god. I’m doing it again.  Getting all philosophical when I’m supposed to be simply describing the noises I hear outside and the taste of tuna between my teeth.  The noises outside are telling me everyone’s back.  A fire’s crackling in the safe embrace of a metal ring.  I’m the person hibernating in the van again.  I’m closing my laptop.

Time to meet the fire’s faces and stoke surrounding it.  Absorb it.  Keep it with me as long as I need warmth through the winter.  This is what it means to be revived.  I’m remembering how good this all feels. Of course, it can’t last forever.  But until that time comes, I’ll neither complain nor question. Restlessness is enough sadness without the expectation of it.