What did you call a group of high schoolers? A pack? A murder? Probably a murder.
Why oh why did I wait till my 30s to learn how to ski? In Canada no less. During spring break no less.
All good questions. Food for thought, while I sit in this chairlift with this cute high school girl next to me. High school being the operative words.
“How old are you?” she asked.
“Thirty-three,” I said. I watched the mountain move under me. The skiers swishing by. I imagined my chair dislodging from its hangers, sending us tumbling, tumbling down. Crushing a murder of high schoolers. The two of us, still seated, bowling over kid after kid after kid on the long way down. Colliding at high speed with a tree, our limbs everywhere. A cherry-red mountain path. I thought about fucking the high school girl.
“Oh wow,” she said. Then she said, “That’s not that old.” Then she said, “That’s the age of maturity for a hobbit.”
I couldn’t ignore that comment. Did she think I was short? I was six two. I looked at her, finally. Pale skin, freckles, ringlets of cherry red hair falling from her white toque. She was a head shorter than me.
“I’m reading Fellowship of the Ring for–for, you know, just because. I liked the movies. I like reading.”
She was going to say “for class.” I knew she was. This fucking girl. I would have creamed myself if I was stuck on a chairlift with her in high school. Fucking Lord of the Rings. Christ.
“We’re–a bunch of us–we’re having a party thing later.”
I said, “Oh. Should be fun.”
“Yeah. Should be. We’re gonna–a couple of us pass for, you know. So yeah, it’ll be fun. We’ll make it fun.”
We were almost at the top of the trail. I was watching other skiers disembark their lifts. Pairs turning into murders before zipping down the mountain.
Spring break. I knew it was spring break, didn’t I? My nephew was on spring break. Why did I choose now to learn how to ski?
“It’ll be at the lake. Big thing.”
“What?” I said.
I could feel her warmth. It radiated from her. I thought about showing up to the party. Bringing beer for myself, but if she wanted…
Arrested. Divorced. Life ruined.
The chairlift swooped, and our skis touched the snow. We made our way to the top of the trail. She was natural with her skis, with her poles. I was awkward, lifting my legs, penguin-like. I saw my ski instructor, and approached him. The high school girl looked at me, then the instructor. She turned to go down the trail.
“Where was the party again?” I found myself saying.
Her head turned over her shoulder. Her eyes said nothing. Then she pushed her way down the mountain. When I made my way to the group of ski trainees, they watched me with the same nothingness in their eyes.
Today’s three prompt categories were, “A chairlift,” “A pack of high schoolers,” and, “Food for thought.”
I have a lot of bad experiences with skiing, so I don’t tend to go. Same goes for skating. I’m not a very good Canadian.
(Note: I thought I posted this yesterday evening, but for some reason it didn’t appear on WordPress. I just noticed today. So here I am posting it again. Thankfully it saved as a draft. I’ll have Day 88 up later on today as well.)