Monday, 28 November 2011


Today would be my sixth day on. With two double sessions on Thursday and Friday, my mind screams "Go training!" and my body refuses to. Then my body screams "Go training!" and my mind tells not to. It's like being Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde, only with also an insane Dr. Jeckyll.
The weekend before this last one I went climbing in an area I had visited only once, one year ago. It's been very nice to meet friends and finally climb again with Filo, after his spring and summer spent ticking away 8b+'s on a string. Living the dream.
While driving home, a memory from a recent past surfaced again from nowhere, and has been staying with me ever since.
It's a picture I have of myself, sitting on the pavement ouside a Curry shop in Sheffield, eating my chicken curry with my hands, while waiting to be picked up by Dylan at The Works. People stared at me.
During the day I had come back to Sheffield from Liverpool, after realizing a couple of dream projects there, to climb again on gritstone. I had come back with some old and new friends, and again I had ticked my project.
So, there, still chalked up, cold, a bit dizzy from the pints and with the climb in my hands and mind, with no pressure on Earth, no money, no watch, no family, no work, no woman, just me the curry and the climb, I felt truly complete.
In those few minutes, I lived the dream. A small dream for most, not made of 8b's or epic flashes. But it was my dream and now it was reality. I keep going back to this memory, or the memory keeps coming back to me. Maybe it feels alone in my brain and want some company. Why, I wonder, that little one is so powerful? Why is it more powerful than the others, other ones of harder problems, for example? I don't know. It's just the way it is. Maybe in that day I had put something special in my climbing, and my climbing in reward gave me even more than usual.
I live for those moments. I'm sure if anyone could know how happy I am in those moments, how fullfilled, no one would even dare or think about giving me a hard time about my climbing.
Moments come and go at their pleasure.
I have many memories closely tied to insignificant moments. For example, there is a particular smell of industrial floor cleaning liquid that, each time I smell it, wherever I am, brings me immediately back to 1984, to the first summer I spent in college, studying English in London. Each morning I would wake up, and go downstairs to the canteen for breakfast, and each morning there would be this smell, of freshly cleaned linoleum floors. I was twelve and did know nothing about nothing. Less than now.
Still, I can hear my steps on the stairs with that smell even now.
And while I'm on this delicate subject, I would like to tell you about the memories of climbing with my best friends: some are long gone, some others are closer. Yet, the most addicting memory is the most recent, as I've said before.
My friend Andrea and I, together again after all these years, under my board, pulling edges as if it were the only thing to do on Earth.
Which, to me, incidentally is.

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