The slow hug of a pillow, as you wander back in conscienciousness. You stretch back and feel a years worth of sprains, twists, falls, and bruises... your body is still young enough not to linger too much on them and old enough to know that this can't go on forever. As you put your fingures through the blinds, and hear that familiar tin sound, you do a grunting half sit up to check the ground. nothing but tramped out snow. As your head hurtles back towards its resting place, all those small aches seem to explode. Each one a reminder, month old memories of ordinary days, still crystal clear. Minutes flow past, till you jerk yourself out of bed. As your feet hit the floor, you can smell the stench of socks and long underwear, laundry is just one of the many things left to wait. Through ritual, you find the least offending set to put on, and slide your ski pants on. Swishing your way to the kitchen, you finally see in full view what the day holds, grey sky's and old snow. Finally convincing yourself that your life needs tending: overflowing rubbish bins, dusty tins in the cupboard, food in various states of decomposition, and bills all must be sorted. Semi relieved of this momentous decision, you drop down to sit infront of the tv for the first time since the lifts opened, then frantically search for that damned remote control. Ten minutes of flipping through the channels and its produced nothing more than irration. The dishes, take only moments. The rubbish bins give you not the desired reaction. As you waddle down with bags slapping your thighs, the air hits your underdressed body. A cold familiar kiss hits the check after 2 minutes, just as you slip back into the warmth. As your ass bouroughs into the couch, you bend over and click into your boots, somehow convincing yourself that 20 minutes of chores was a productive day and that a quick run to the top and bottom will just get you moving on the long list left to be done. Walking out the door, taking every care not to damage the weapons of choice for the day, you see the slopes only moments away and your heart lifts. Swinging your ski's to the ground and kicking the snow from your soles, you step in. With two gigantic explosions you are gliding towards the line. Its short and filled with unfamiliar faces. Tourists fill the line, holding maps fully extended and telling friends and strangers alike glory-day stories about how they love skiing but life keeps them away too much. As you shuffle past and sit down, your feet lift and the bar drops. Finally, you are airborn and moving the most unnatural way possible, up not down. As the vibrations of the poles begin to gain in number, you realize that stared down at your tips is a much better view than the grey air you have just entered. Every chip, each sratch is a reminder of a tree or rock and a grin hits your face. For a ski is only new til you step into it and then you take ownership. Then the unthinkable, the grey starts to to luminate yellow. Then moments later, you erupt through and see the bluesky, the fresh unblocked sun, and the wind swept hills. Its paradise on a stick. A primal scream of joy lets loose and the three on the chair lift their heads from the map and look in wonder. You imediately reach for your phone, in its familiar pocket. A quick glance throught the list: too slow, park rat, too drunk last night, perfect. The list grows as your frozen hand types out a message of “bluesky's and empty hills”. Send. You quietly laugh to yourself, as your neighbors start to ask for information. Misdirection is the key. Then as you near they last post between you and the beloved, you start your ritual. The Zulus, must have had the same before a battle. As you drop your lenses, and stand up, your vision narrows. tbc...


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