Friday, November 21, 2008

Snowboards a Go-Go

Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Winter 2007-8.

Alas, snowboarding comes unnaturally to a surfer and kiteboarder. The "weight on the front foot" dilemma baffles the body. You mean I'm supposed to lean DOWNHILL? And the outcome of those misplaced edges is a breathless sprawl. But as I lay, staring skyward at the pristine blueness, wondering if my tailbone is in two pieces or six, I think about the cocktail awaiting me at the bar after this last run. Will I limp into that drink or be carried? I've earned my beverage, either way.

At the ski-out, ski-in apartment, which has proved to be ski-out, crawl-in for me the last few days, I wash my hands of my instruments of torture and collect the saviors of foot and psyche alike, my AKA Valenki. ( Angels with trumpets stand on billowing clouds of sweet perfume like heralds of a Boticelli raw bar. Can so much joy be carried in a shoe? Yes.

I have a partner in crime to accompany me toward my libation, a frisky female who we shall call "Sapphire." She is an AKA convert from our New York days, fully immersed in a love affair that knows no compromise. The only argument being jealousy from pairs of boots as to which color best suits her mood this evening. She opts for black and I for white, and smoothly we descend to the slopeside shindig.

I see him first. And I claim him with a quick whispered 'shotgun'. Sapphire is displeased, and rightly so. Less tan than a full time ski bum would be, must be a musician in town for the Texas Rock Festival. That explains why he's camped under the space heater in jeans. I love musicians. Sapphire orders two whiskey rocks at the bar to saddle up for our nighttime rodeo. I'm guessing a guitarist, young and nimble with the fingers. He's got that smirk of arrogance I like to wrestle with in conversation and beyond. This should be fun. I grab him away from his company with a knowing smile. 'Jay' he says they call him. Then his next words are the last ones he had control of. "Nice boots, but you're standing in a puddle." After that, he was mine. "I know, and I know." I said.

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