Audrey and the Invisible – a very short story

I just came across this in an old file folder.   Hand-written many years ago – probably sometime when I was in my 20s or 30s.

Climbing Gear

Somewhere out and about halfway past the security bolt, amidst the swirling storm, Audrey snuffed it out.  Brand new EBs and all. She lost it. She popped her pieces under a ragged roof and zippered the overhang.

 As I look back now, I can remember the kaleidoscope of thoughts that rushed through me then:  “Anchor’s good.  It should hold. But she’s way above it and it won’t make any difference.  Ever the risk-taker.  My belay is useless.”

 Cold snows and ancient spirits flew at me from different corners of the rock – opposite and distant.  I can remember shivering uncontrollably.  I couldn’t believe what had happened.

 Kennedy, King and Khrushchev were still alive, when we first met years ago.   We finally hooked up and spent our time in the mountains.  We loved to read books and cook food and go climbing together.  And coming home late at night we’d walk down the old path toward the cabin, chocks rhythmically chiming, and watch silently, like monks, our Vibrams in the dust.  “Does anyone know the Truth about anything?” we’d ask ourselves.  We never owned a television set.

 There was a large pine tree that was over 200 years-old outside the kitchen window.  “I wonder if it remembers the passenger pigeons,” she had whispered early one morning.




Note for those readers who don’t know what EBs are: 

EB stands for Edouard Bourdonneau , the french master boot maker , who , together with Pierre Allain , manufactured the first climbing shoe in 1947 .
During the fifties , he created the brand EB which became the “gold standards” of climbing rock shoes in the sixties and seventies .
The brand died in 1986 after the arrival of the spanish made”Firé ” and its sticky rubber which rendered the “old” EB obsolete .
But , in 1992 , with a new owner , EB started again to manufacture climbing shoes ( although very different from its ancestors…)up to this day …

   by Xavier Legendre, Sports Climber, Marseille – quoted from the internet


6 thoughts on “Audrey and the Invisible – a very short story

  1. I learned rock climbing in the early 1970s with Arizona mountaineering club out of Phoenix At a time when climbers were getting rid of pitons and joining the clean climbing craze with chalks nuts and friends. My favorite boots were Black Beauties! Your essay brings back a lot of memories from my own past. My greatest satisfaction was climbing 20 buttes and towers in the Grand Canyon. My friend and I have at least one first ascent so Sullivan Peak near point imperial of of the North Rim.


  2. Such a neat memory, and poetic writing of a time and experience you had.
    Those trees with the sun shining through them are gorgeous.

    I sometimes wonder if the Giant Redwood I used to climb and sit in for hours pretending, and daydreaming remembers me. It’s still standing in the backyard of the house I lived in for 4 yrs as a girl.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for taking the time to read the story and comment on it. I do believe that the Giant Redwood still remembers you. I really like the thought of you sitting in it for hours and pretending and daydreaming. These are all important foundations for a life well lived.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I spent many hours in that tree forgoing homework, and chores. I got in a lot of trouble and was grounded far too many times for my liking or thinking for spending time in her. Thank you Very Much! 🙂 To this day in my late 50’s I don’t regret a second, minute or hour I spent in that tree. I love seeing it standing tall and evergreen when I go to the mall. A Redwood in the burbs of San Jose, CA!
    When I arrived here as a girl in February 1968 no one would have batted an eye to having such a tree in the backyard…today in 2016 to have one standing there still is AMAZING!
    Truly AMAZING! People/Builders are tearing down everything they perceive as old or outdated. New construction in and around that neighborhood has been fast and furious.

    Long may my tree live!

    It would be really neat if she remembered me. Even the time she couldn’t move a branch to catch me and I fell badly spraining my right arm. I like to think she tried and did help break the fall so, it was only a sprain and not a break.
    As soon as I was out of the sling I was right back to climbing her as high as I could go.

    I need to get a picture of her don’t I!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I should photograph it. I can’t get the whole thing because it’s in someone’s backyard, but the from the street in the right light I might be able to get something I like made.

    Oh yes, she was a “she” tree. Very wise, with a calming spirit. 🙂

    Hope you’re enjoying your summer!

    Liked by 1 person

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