Aspen part 2: When are you going up the mountain? Soon.
I awoke again on a stranger’s couch. This time to an amazing set of picture windows looking out on the mountain. It was 9 a.m., far too early to be awake. I’d had just a few hours of sleep, but there was so much activity in the condo. Cooking? Yes. Lots of cooking. And everyone in the condo was unmistakably gay.
It’s also worth noting that when I woke up, I was wearing dress pants, a button-up shirt tucked in, and a knotted and snug necktie. People kept asking if I slept in this outfit, or if I had dressed up for the gay brunch. The house at which I had crashed was hosting that morning’s breakfast event, a gay brunch. Before 9:30, I had a Mimosa in my hand, and eggs, potatoes and hollandaise were making the rounds.
Fast -forward that night to the canvass dinner, an event in which all of the directors congregate for a hosted meal. I caught up with my first director Kristin. The meal was enchiladas and fajitas, and was surprisingly excellent. Later we migrated to, you guessed it, the Collins Street bar.
Day four, I awoke in my own condo. The streak ended. I really can’t remember where exactly I slept. Must have been a couch. Regardless, Camila and Matt were fixing to go snowboarding, and mostly out of a feeling of obligation to the ski town I agreed to tag along.
I snowboarded for a weekend once, probably eight years ago. I didn’t particularly enjoy it. Cold. Wet. Clumsy. Dangerous. And I’m not a big fan of having my feet strapped immobile to anything, much less a slick piece of fiberglass.
I opted out of lessons, and we picked Aspen Mountain, a world-famous slope, because we figured all of the hills would have beginner runs and it was close. Matt is moderately experienced and Camila had never snowboarded. She’s from Puerto Rico. They don’t have mountains or snow.
The start of the run was surprisingly fun. I picked it back up pretty quickly, and carved a good set of gradual hills. Matt and I started getting way too far ahead of Camila. We waited and waited but didn’t see her coming. Then I got separated from Matt. About a third of the way down I rounded a curve and realized I picked the wrong run.
The run became very steep, very quickly. I had stumbled into a Warren Miller movie. And I spent the movie on my ass, sliding down the hill, or stomping through knee-deep fresh powder trying to hike to an area that I could safely traverse. I tumbled to the bottom of the hill and met up with Matt. Camila was nowhere to be found.
I turned in my gear, the rental guys made fun off all the snow in my boots. Funny guys. We found a ski employee and told her we lost our friend, that it was her first time. “Why would you take someone with no experience or lessons here? There’s nothing remotely beginner on Aspen Mountain. It’s all intermediate and advanced.”
We found Camila. She was fucking pissed. They were handing out free apple cider to skiers though. I remembered the Mitch Hedberg joke about how he wants to get into mountain climbing just so he can hang out base camp. Grow a beard, drink hot cider.
“When are you going up the mountain?”