Wait, I Still Need That
It was never my intention to break anything. But as with most good intentions, I fell short, fell hard, fell dramatically, and fell with the flair of a 1950s diva, sans cigarette filter.
The day was sunny, and the snow was perfect. I am a cautious skier because of a previous accident that had me blacked out on the hill, wondering why God was wearing goggles when I awoke. So I ski as if I am going to die on that very run. Each chink in the snow is like a sidewalk bump that you trip over. On level ground, I would look back to see there was nothing more than a millimetre in elevation change in the pavement that caused my arms to brace the air in front of me, use a word that deserved a soap gargle, and shake my head like it wasn’t my fault my feet don’t work as they should.
Today was that kind of day.
Despite the perfect conditions, a more than passable attitude, a good night’s sleep, and a healthy dose of java before clicking into my death sticks, I knew the hill had it out for me. Sure, others were traversing the slopes with the ease of a water droplet finding its road down a windscreen. Sure, the cutting and slicing of snow against ski edges so sharp they could trim a bonsai to look like a centaur was a reassuring sound of others’ confidence. Sure, everyone else forgot they were wearing weapons and sailed past me with smiles frozen to their faces creating a crevice perfect for collecting their arctic snot. Sure, skiing is fun.
I rode the chair lift like a champ. Sitting is my superpower. I even managed to exit the floating ice bench with ease, turning only slightly to the left, making it look like this was my happy place, and I was eager to get the skiing underway. I was not eager.
I asked my husband to go first like I do every other time. I liken it to having a food taster, if something is going to go wrong, at least he’s the one with the excellent life insurance. I’m not sure why I had the bravado that he would be the one to fall, and I would be the one to come up behind him, pull my goggles off my face, and scream, “Why him?” As the tears froze to my cheeks, making a macabre chilled Joker mascara scene. That has never been the case before.
As he became smaller and smaller with his distance, I prayed a little, took a deep breath and bent my knees. I looked behind me on both sides, hoping someone would need to pass. Truthfully, this might have been my prayer. Sadly, I was alone at the top of the white hill. I’d say mountain, but that would be a gross overstatement. This was a hill. One I would tumble down in the summer and say, “Weee.” A hill shallow enough to stop an egg from rolling. I could have walked down this incline without leaning back to keep me upright. I should have done that.
Instead, I dug my poles into the icy surface in front of me and with the confidence of a pre-teen at a spin-the-bottle party, I lurched forward. One turn, two turns, what the hell grabbed the back of my right ski? As I looked back with disdain to not find a corpse reaching through the snow to catch my ski, I forgot the one rule of skiing. Don’t look back. When you look back, you don’t see what is in front of you. When you don’t see what is in front of you, you are fucked.
I twisted my body to yell at the zombie when I realized I was still attached to the fibreglass weapons I am not registered to open carry. The simple act of turning my form to the right meant I was hurling my way down an icy precipice with my left shoulder leading the way. Not being used to leadership, my shoulder decided it preferred the solace of terra firma and sought its comfort.
“Fuck,” exploded from my snot encrusted yap, and my shoulder stayed put on the hill while my feet kept the momentum they sought in search of clubhouse coffee. One ski and one pole gone, I came to my final resting place. My skid resembled an octopus carrying knives. The Ski Patrol heard my scream, but the muffled sobs that followed were disguising my anger at my husband for going first when he knew damn well he should always go last to pick up my pieces. Who does he think he is after all? Steve Podborski. Holy fuck, I think my arm is detached. I hope someone picks it up on their way to my rescue. I’ve grown attached to my detached arm.
The continuation of the story is here… “I’m In Two Parts”