jim is improving faster than i am. he made it about three-quarters of the way up a hard 5.10 route. i tried it after he did, since he made it look less-than-impossible, but there’s an early jump-and-grab move i just couldn’t make, largely because he’s four inches taller than i am. woe is me, internets.
at the end of the evening, jim was in line returning his rented gear. he saw a couple of teen girls eating the same type of energy bar he’d had earlier. “oh, those things are extreme,” jim said. “extreme” is jim’s campy code-word for, i don’t know, “bad-ass,” i guess? jim has this thing he does where he automatically assumes everybody is in on all his weird jokes, even if he’s just met them. or, in this case, hasn’t met them at all. i found it annoying at first, but i guess he’s growing on me, because now it seems charming. i guess the teen girls were less charmed, because they ignored him. or it could be because jim has Old Disease. teenagers often worry that it’s catching, so they won’t talk to anybody with Old Disease unless they’re related to them or the Old Disease sufferers are teachers or authority figures or whatever.
then, somehow, the teen girls got wind of the picture on jim’s driver’s license. i think the guy behind the desk was showing it around. (the gym makes you give up your license for the duration of your stay, so they can be sure they’ll get their rental gear back.) in the picture, jim has his eyes bugged out and one cheek puffed up and his tongue hanging out, to the point where it doesn’t even look like him anymore. i bet that picture is going to earn him a cavity search at an airport one day. the teen girls loved it! suddenly, they were willing to overlook his Old Disease and weird lingo and talk to him! he told the whole story, how he was afraid the guy at the dmv would make him do another one, etc. there’s a lesson in there, somewhere.