“It’ll be a good way to make new friends,” she said. “It’ll help you meet girls and get over your crippling fear of ropes and pulleys,” she said. Fuck you, mom. Two weeks into joining Rock Climbing Club, I’ve now been trapped under this giant rock near Greylock for the past 127 hours, and this giant saw lying next to me is looking like a pretty nice option. And by the way, this club shouldn’t even exist. You never want a ladder to be able to accomplish the goal of your club faster than you. I joined the club after Mountain Day, packed up my gear for our first trip, and now I’m scratching my last will and testament into a piece of schist.
If anyone finds this note, please remember me. Ivan Tabone: son, friend, good kid, really strong, really good at sex, alpha male, not a virgin. I’d like to will my “Good Will Hunting” poster to my roommate, Sam Storm, and please send my world-record-breaking nudie mag collection back home.
As I contemplate the choices that brought me here, I’m furious. How was I supposed to know baby powder wouldn’t be a viable substitute for chalk? No one told me at the informational meeting; they just flexed their forearms for an hour and a half before clipping themselves together and scaling Chapin Hall while Scott Lewis wistfully sang Marvin Gaye’s 1967 Motown hit “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.”
But more than anything, I’m scared. I’m scared of what I could’ve become, of whom I’ll never be. What would he have been like? Would he have been kind? Gentle? Would he join a club that is meant for squirrels and monkeys, not human beings with no upper body strength? Would he tell Al Pine, the president of the Rock Climbing Club, “I’d prefer to climb lone-wolf style, so don’t wait up for me when you leave”? Would he leave his phone on the bus so he could “unplug” for an hour? No. He wouldn’t. He’d be an armless little boy who should’ve just joined an a cappella group. Fuck. Here we go.