The fifth bottle of beer is halfway finished and I have become overly loquacious. In fact, that is mere euphemism for the reality: a veritable cataract of speech erupts from my mouth and I aim this torrent of bullshit at any and all who will listen. I am brimming over with mundane late-20's life-crisis and I must share this fact with those kind enough to acquiesce or perish in a deep pool of self pity. Someone is indeed kind enough to suffer my foolishness and later, as I depart, I am predictably steeped in remorse and shame for elucidating naught but petty gripes and problems common to all as though they were my very own lumps of coal.
The next day dawns gray but promises better. I am going to Index for the first time in five months and the sun is scheduled to make a cameo appearance. A punitive headache graces my frontal lobes as I rise groggily to make the morning ablutions and to prepare myself for the technical demands of granite rock climbing. Loading myself with as much water as possible to soothe my dessicated brain, we set off. The gearbox in Jeanna's pickup whines ominously. The sky to the east appears much lighter, as was foretold. I purchase a Kombucha en-route and with the promise of further detoxification of my embattled organs, imbibe the fragrant potion. Upon reaching the quaint village of Index, the saturnine skies have indeed retracted their winter veil and real sunlight shines on the wet, seeping walls of granite. My muscles respond mercurially to stimulus and it is immediately clear that there will be no great feats of sport. However, as my feet skid with vague familiarity on the unyielding stone and my hands work clumsily in the myriad crack sizes, joy leaps in my heart as at a reunion with a temperamental but beloved old friend. The budding trees, though woefully premature, promise a new season, as does a constant, languid patrol of mosquitoes. Nearby, fresh rockfall, probably from frost wedging effects, has all but denuded the slope below the Quarry Wall of trees. Preparing to climb, I stand directly beneath an obvious rock scar several hundred feet above and idly ponder the transience of all things, especially us rather delicate vertebrates. A passing train drowns out these musings and I am climbing, having forgotten, for the moment, the inanity of my situation in the face of such austere monuments to destruction.
Everyone gets the blues; luckily this includes the sky in late January.