Skin Care and Whiskey

by Nancy Kim

Last night’s to-do list included a stressful phone call to my sister. I needed something to take the edge off and relax me while speaking with her. A shot of bourbon, definitely, and something else perhaps. I tried to think of a peaceful, meditative activity to engage in after drinking and dialing. Remember the hero in Murakami’s The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle? He ironed shirts to calm himself.

Eureka! I’ll iron my climbing skins, another item on the evening’s to-do list. Never mind that I’ve never done it before and I could potentially fuck up my skins. For those unfamiliar with this skin-care method, ironing the adhesive side of your skins is a way to revive lost tack in the skin glue. I took two long strips of parchment paper slightly wider than the skins and placed them on my Black Diamond Guide Lites. With the iron on the lowest setting, I pulled long rip strokes from tip to tail until a dark gloss showed through the white parchment paper.

And so it went. A wee dram, a bit of ironing and well, okay, a bit of shouting into the Nokia flip phone held together with blue tape. The call ended and I peeled the cooled parchment paper from my skins. It was brilliant multi-tasking from a hardcore monotasker. My skins seem like new. The sibling situation, however, needs a bit more ironing out.


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