Kev was dejected yesterday. We skied 11 am till 3 in the afternoon and the snow was good. Park was popping, and it was soft in north bowl; the kind of skiing our friend Liv would term “yummy.” It wasn’t the conditions that were the bummer. No, it had something to do with the crumpled pages that - for several days now - I had been sitting on in the back of their VW Golf, en route to the hill: the header listing Kev’s contact information, his address, email, cell number.

Kevin makes music, just released his self-made album and sells some of his instrumentals to skiers. Though if you’ve ever had to rely on a skier for money, you know that isn’t exactly a guaranteed salary. I asked him, as we pulled out of the Tim Horton’s parking lot that afternoon, if he had tried for any of the dish washing jobs in town. “All of them,” he replied.

The situation was not aided by the fact that moments ago, inside Timmy’s, we had come across Nick, looking dapper in a button down and khakis, handing his application across the counter - flooding the market even further - to the Philippino lady who had also taken our orders. I’ll hit pause here for a second to include that at almost this exact moment, Nick’s roommates were posting an ad to the local classifieds touting his “safe and discrete” services in the bedroom. $300 an hour.

Not as easy as you'd think.

The day before, Kev had had a pleasant conversation with the manager at Tim’s, who assured him that their positions were all filled for the moment. Same at Subway. Same at McDonalds, and the Nomad, and the Frontier restaurant up the road. It’s pushing mid-January and three more months of winter stretch out before us, each one dangling a rent check from its number 1. The jokes about selling sex for money have become all too real.

There are ways to adapt, of course. Nick and Brayden have both mastered the art of conning sledders (always dudes, don’t ask) into buying them drinks at the bar, so at least their tabs are covered. And pierogis are cheap, same with instant noodles.

Even for those of us who have found employment, the picture isn’t exactly rosy. Callum was up at 2am on Tuesday, and again at 3 the next night to shovel snow. Tack that onto a 9-5 shift putting up drywall and he’s conking out in the early evening, exhausted from the lack of sleep. My weekly phone calls to Bishop get less and less cordial each time. The message boils down to: write more or we’re going to fucking talk.

The snow is good though, and park is popping. It’s just becoming increasingly clear that “I’ll find a job when I get there” is a tough strategy to make good on in a ski town. It's like the Clash said: career opportunities, the ones that never knock.


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