The bridge is an endless, low serpent stepping across the marshland. I took Onyx’ bike and rode back to Scienceworks, to the long bluestone wall on the side of the Yarra. I haven’t climbed bluestone in ten years. Fingers and body remember but cannot. I walk from one end to the other and back, more than 100 metres of hard climbing in both directions, feeling the rock with fingertips and toes. I remember when I first started climbing the railway bridges in Balaclava, East St. Kilda, it took me months to be able to string together one traverse, months more to reverse it, months again to do the other side of the road. This is the same, but harder.
Climbing walls to get at science. Climbing walls around the back when there’s a locked gate up the front side. Climbing walls “like, it’s literally a metaphor, lol.” In the end, I find the first several moves. Still more than 100 metres to go.
I’m in Melbourne from mid-November till mid-March and need a cheap-ish room somewhere to plonk my suitcase and sleep. I’d love to live in Windsor or East St Kilda, or in the city, though anywhere inner-city would be ok too. Besides sleeping, I also like spending as much time as I can in the kitchen. If you have anything or know of someone who does can you please email me or them or call/text me on +61 419 586 227.
It was such a beautiful afternoon, a slight breeze, blue sky like you only get in Australia, the sun was in the north and moving down towards the horizon, casting its warmth along the railway bridge in East St Kilda.
This is my favourite place to climb in the city. Next to a park, and on a commmon route for local people to walk to the shops a couple of streets up. They are used to the sight of people hanging off the bluestone walls of the bridge, but still find it alien enough to cross the road early, stare, or occasionally tell me not to fall off.
Today my fingers were sore from working a problem along the other bridge; I’d eliminated all the holds larger than this. Maybe mindless perversity, but for me there is nothing more real in climbing than edges shrinking towards nothing. A blank wall, the features sharpened by the late afternoon sun, the sound of the wind, it feels like floating on an endless sea.