It’s been quite a while since we’ve gone, but Jacob has continued to run his Tuesday night trivia games, and over the past few months it seems that he’s developed a loyal following. We were just one of the twenty-one teams playing tonight, matching our wits against Jacob’s extensive grasp of trivia. Jacob played the crowd well, and though we finished with a middling score it was a grand time.
Laurel did win us a set of Chappie T-shirts with her wildcard powers, guessing almost exactly the number of career touchdowns made by a football player whose name I can’t remember. That was better than the bonus prize, anyway; we wouldn’t know what to do with the first-place pitcher of beer.
I had altogether too much frozen yogurt tonight, but it looks like I will pull through.
clangs and clings
I haven’t been able to see Laurel the past few days. Tonight we were finally able to meet, but a stomach ache kept her in bed. We talked and curled up under the blankets and dozed off, and now the three of us – Zinky as well – need to sleep.
But it’s nice to see her again.
inscrutable distant sounds
I’ve wanted to take some shots like this for years. Pearce and Brittany helped me out tonight, lending their eyes and supplying light as I looked into the craters that their irises form.
From a distance, the colors in our eyes look like gemstones; when you look more closely, they become mountain ranges or fabric, all their subtle geometries suddenly inescapable.
Look at the creases toward the outer edge; look at the band of gold that lines Brittany’s pupil; look at the glow toward the left, where light has traveled across the cornea, skirted the event horizon, and emerged safe on the other side.
You are made of vast worlds. Don’t forget how magnificent you are.
you will know our names
Myles insisted on being cropped out of this photo, and understandably so; I’d tried to capture a moment where all three members of the couch were laughing, but lost focus and exposure on the subject closest to the foreground. His shoulder remains, so don’t forget his presence.
I’ve seen Clara very little since her last birthday party. More people were able to make it out tonight: Myles and Emily, Faye and Tristan, Kate and Aaron, Imogen and Brendan, Elizabeth, someone named Rachel and her puppet parrot Newton. We ate breads and cheeses, fruits and sweets and chips, and for the first phase of the night I mostly sat and listened to the flow of the conversation. As the party slimmed down, I was able to throw in a few more words myself, and the last of us stayed talking until midnight drew near.
All these people are so sweet.
I’ve been toprope climbing several times before, but not since I began bouldering at Bridges. In the past two years or so, I’ve grown accustomed to the quick, technical sprints that make up bouldering challenges, so it was interesting to return to the long-distance ascents at Ironworks.
I had to learn the ropes again, of course; the soft cables that cradle a climber’s life need to be carefully arranged for a secure hold. The mnemonic for the figure-eight knot is simple enough: make a little ghost, give him a collar, and punch him in the face. Still I felt inelegant when I first practiced the knot; I don’t usually think in those dimensions, and trying to form those shapes was at first as elusive as speaking the unfamiliar accents of a foreign language.
Routes at Ironworks differ from those at Bridges even more than Dogpatch does. The holds are indifferent to you, neither difficult nor obliging, and in no part of today’s routes was there any sort of crux – no single focus in the challenge that defined the route. Instead it was a long fight against my fading strength, and as I passed the halfway point I would start breathing more deliberately, my heartbeat hastening, my arms beginning to tremble. I came down from one route, a purple 5.11cd, with my forearms buzzing from exertion. I haven’t felt that in a long time.
Tomorrow morning I will be bouldering again – always moving upwards, solving more physical puzzles, getting stronger bit by bit.
even the gentlemen
On the right here is Danny, the new recruit for our team – and another graduate from App Academy. He went through the cohort after me, which meant we spent three weeks in the same space, but we never interacted there. Having gone through the same ordeal, we should have some innate solidarity, like soldiers who served in the same war but different platoons; so far, we have talked about smaller things.
For Danny’s welcome lunch we walked him to Subway – perhaps an underwhelming choice after his fancy interview meal. After stepping through the door, the prank was revealed, and we turned back out to a restaurant across the street, where the napkins are linen and the servers carry out their roles with immaculate timing, like well-rehearsed dancers or actors in a play.
Fancier restaurants tend to offer a great variety of meats and very few vegetarian options. I took the one option I could, a deep green risotto with slivers of pear, and savored it quietly.
These people are nice and the food is good, but I still feel a bit out of place here.
The tiered roof of the mall in San Francisco, framed by rows of balconies below, becomes a dizzying eye when seen from directly beneath. It stares down like an all-seeing giant, and everyone who passes its gaze feeds it with their wallet.
Laurel and I each did some shopping tonight. I bought myself a fancy set of headphones – a somewhat extravagant purchase. I’ve wanted something like it for a while now, since it can be so nice to be completely wrapped in music, but I don’t feel entirely comfortable buying such a luxury item. Carrying the box out, I had the strange feeling that I had to unburden myself of some other worldly possession in order to counterbalance the act of consumerism I’d just performed.
I would rather not be a material person.
Where can you best put your money to make the world a better place?