“It’s been a rocky week,” I’d say and then laugh my ass off.
It would be just one of many trademark hilarious phrases I would spout throughout my daily conversations if I was a hotshot rock climber. It would compliment my always tan face, my white-powdery hands, and that awesome key chain I’d have that would be made out of carabiner — except I’d have a reason for keeping my keys on one.
Afterall, it would all make sense since I was a hotshot rock climber.
“Life is filled with ups and downs,” I’d say very seriously to you one night at dinner (while still wearing my prAna Nitro Pullover with movement inspired fit). And then while you were staring at me in awe because all you do is sit at a desk all day making sure your post-its don’t fall off that bulliten board, I would illustrate with a slab of butter how I try to keep myself from falling off a sheer rock cliff with hardly any areas to grip onto. I would sprinkle some salt on top of the slab of butter and say something like, “You see those salt crystals? Do you? Do you see them? There, in the butter. No, not there. Over there. Yeah. No, look down. Down! Here. See those salt crystals? Why are you looking at me, look down at the salt crystals!”
Of course I would probably realize that sitting under those flourescent lights for your entire adult life had fried your brain and no matter what I said you’d still not look at the salt crystals I was using to illustrate the rough feel that a sheer cliff (which looks smooth) actually has.
“It may look smooth,” I’d say… “But every rock has something to grab.” Then I’d rub my unshaven, tan, chisled chin for dramatic effect.
Dates would always be fun. Since, as a hotshot rock climber, I would always be wearing the hotshot climbing outfits (even though I’d be out in the normal world), I would also always have rope and carabiners hanging from my belt. This would, of course, be my way of flirting throughout a date — I would simply wind up a bunch of rope, reel you in, and say something like, “Grab my hand if you want to live.”
You would. They all would. After all… I would be a hotshot rock climber.
Of course, dinner with your parents for the first time might be awkward at first. Your dad, of course, would be concerned about my ropes and my carabiners and my Blue Water Lightning Pro Dry-Rope. Having not told him what I did (would it really be a question in anyone’s mind anyway), he might ask me what I wanted to do… As a hotshot rock climber, I would have that speech memorized:
“I don’t want to sit stoic, sit alone, or sit at all for a career. I don’t want to wear a suit, buy a suit, work in a job requiring a suit or suit-up for a job that suggests I wear a suit. I don’t want to not be able to have rope, use rope, or be looked down upon for having some rope. If the job I have requires a suit and no rope, well, as a hotshot rock climber I’d have to say that I wouldn’t want to do that.”
He would stare at me with a ludicrous expression on his face and then smile wide. I would ace that dinner and that first meeting just as I had aced my upper body technique while climbing Zimbabwe’s Chimanimani mountain ranges.
“I’m at the apex of my career,” I might tell people.
I would live in a huge penthouse at the top of a building that had no stairs or elevator or any other way to get to the top floor except for climbing. I would not have furniture in my sparsely decorated house except for every single wall would be a climbing wall and my fridge would be at the top of said climbing walls so that the calories attached to each and every piece of food I would ingest would already be burned out of my system by the time I climbed up to get it. I would have a dog who would not be a hotshot rock climber like me, but would be able to jump really high due to his really strong hind quarters.
In the canine world, jumping high is the equivalent of being a hotshot rock climber.
I would imagine the moment of my death over and over again. I would plan that it would come during one of my more risky climbs — high above a craggy cliff or rocky shore. I would lay in bed at night practicing that one line I would scream out into the barren wasteland around me as I fell to my death:
“I knew this time would come!” I’d scream… “I knew this time would come but I’ve been ready for you to come for me dear Lord since I became a hotshot rock climbing God and I just want you to know that-“
That would be about the time I’d land on the ground, leaving my earthly body behind.
It would be the most dramatic ending to my hotshot life ever, and the fact that no one would know what I was going to say to the Lord of the Universe would just further the “legend of me” throughout the hotshot rock climbing community. People would try to figure out just what it was that I was going to say from “I did it all and I am ready now” to “I think I slipped a disc” but would it really matter at all?
I would have been a hotshot rock climber in life and in death, and that my friends, would be all that would have mattered.
“You can get blood from a rock,” I’d say with a sly grin on my face during our big lunch interview for Rock & Ice: The Climber’s Magazine. To prove just that, I’d outline how I was hanging upside down from a particularly slick rock with one hand (just like Tom Cruise pretended to do in Mission Impossible 2) and explain to you how blood had started to drip from my hand… I would be quick to stop the bleeding, but as soon as I reached the top and looked to my hand to clean my wound… I would realize that my hand had no wound at all… And that the blood… “Yes,” I would nod… “That the blood must have spilled forth from the rock itself!”
You would stare at me, wondrously. In awe. Admiring my skill, my courage… and my carabiners. After all, being a hotshot rock climber is what every human being aspires to be. Even hotshot rock climbing magazine writers like yourself.
“Nyah, nyah, nyah,” is what I’d say. Cause I would be a hotshot rock climber and you…?
Well… You wouldn’t.