Wednesday, November 14, 2007


"Wow, it really didn't look this steep from the lift!" I chuckled nervously and shook my head as Amy smirked at me. Really, it hadn't looked all that steep from the bottom of the hill. Or the lift. But from the top of the run it looked more like a cliff face than a ski trail. Blue square my ass.

"We can cut over halfway down if you want." She gestured with one pole at a trail through the trees that led to a more sedate run on the right. But that 'if you want' was more of a challenge than her mild tone would've indicated. That's what I got for telling her how much I loved skiing, how I was totally up for whatever.

I guess the three resorts I'd been two on the east coast hadn't properly prepared me for what real skiing was like. For one thing, this was actual snow. That had fallen from the sky. Rather than ice or, if I was lucky, water frozen and then blown over the slope by a huge fan on a pole. For another, apparently real mountains had runs with intimidatingly inclined slopes.

I swear, looking down through the tips of my skis over the edge, that I could already see what was going to happen. And while I didn't have anything against falling in general- it was kind of fun, actually, sometimes- I knew that if I fell on this run I would slide for a long, long way. My stomach muscles tightened as I shot Amy a forced grin.

"Whatever. You want to go first?"

"I'll follow you." She gestured with her ski pole again and nodded her head at the run. "Go for it."

"Alright." I dug my poles in and pushed off, turning and quickly picking up speed. My usual technique involved going as fast as I could before I fell, but that wouldn't fly here. A quick turn, a quick turn and I was coasting across the face of the mountain.

There, that's not that bad. Oh, a bump. Okay, under control. Wait, hold on. Lean forward, dig in, turn, slow it down. Going a little too fast. Okay, okay. Good. Another turn. Good. Nice. Great. Very good.

Halfway down and I ignore the turn off. I don't need it. The wind in my face, the skis sliding across the snow, muscles I didn't use the other 362 days of the year tensing and pulling, feeling good. Pick up speed again, maybe a little off balance but alright. Yeah, I do like skiing. This is fun. I don't know what I was worried about.

Then I catch the edge of my left ski in a rut and it gets pulled under me. I lose my balance and go down in the snow. Pop and one ski goes, tumble and roll and the other one is gone with an odd twisting feeling in my knee. There goes the left pole, staying up the hill as I slide on my stomach toward the edge of the run, and I just see a blur as some unlucky skiier swerves to avoid me. And no, he's down too but I don't have time to worry about it because here comes the ditch at the edge of the trail and ohthankgod I stopped before going into that tree.

A breath, another breath as I take a moment to calm down. Everything seems okay, except that knee hurts and my goggles are covered with snow so I can't really see and my jacket is pulled up in back so there's snow down the back of my ski pants. But all in all, okay.

I roll over and sit up, looking back over my shoulder to watch Amy gather up my skis. Well, that was exciting. I wave at her to show her I'm alright and can already feel the grin creeping across my face. That was fun! Let's do it again! Practice makes perfect, right?

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


The darkness was complete; they might as well have had their eyes closed for all the good it did them. No stars or moon in the overcast sky, no nearby lights to reflect against the cloud cover, no fire, no flashlights, no nothing.

Ever since Devon had made them turn off their cell phones to conserve the batteries a couple of hours ago it had just been them and the random, alien noises of the forest. Sara was still crying- her ankle must really hurt, it had been huge when I'd felt the sprain through her sock- but it was muffled against Mike's chest and she was starting to wind down.

We were all tired. I knew I was, at least. It had been a long day. We'd planned for a long day, brought food and water and everything, but we should've been home hours ago. I don't know how we got lost- Devon said his phone had GPS, for Christ's sake- but we hadn't eaten anything since lunch and that had to be... what, 8, 10 hours ago?

Friday, October 5, 2007

Apres break-up

"Do you want a drink?"

"No, I don't want a drink, Ted. I'm here. Do you have my stuff?"

"Could we just talk for a minute?"

"About what?"

"About what? What about us? Can't we just, I mean..."

"No. Look, I came. I'm here. Talk if you want, but we're..."

"Come on, how can you just be done like that?"

"How can I? How can I just be done like that? Seriously?"

"No, I mean..."

"Seriously? You're going to ask me that?"

"Wait, wait..."

"Because, shit, I didn't even want to come here tonight. You can keep the fucking CDs, Ted, I don't..."

"No, wait, wait, come on. Wait. Sit down. Please. Please."

"I'll stay for five minutes. You wanna talk, talk."

"That doesn't even... okay, okay, wait. Gimme a second."

"Five minutes."

..."I'm sorry. I'm sorry, okay?"

"How many times are you gonna say that, Ted? You think that's going to fix things?"

"No, but I, I just wanted to say it again. I'm sorry. Look, it's just the way I..."

"Fuck that. We already had this conversation. I don't need to sit here for four more minutes just to hear the same fucking thing I've already heard from you."

"Jesus, I don't know what to say! What the fuck can I say!? I'll try to..."

"How many second chances do you think you should get, Ted?"

..."I tried. I did. I'm sorry. I'll try again..."

"And again. And again. Because it's been months, Ted. I'm done. I'm tired. Tired of you, tired of your friends, tired of all your bullshit and waiting at home for you and not knowing if I'm going to see you or..."

"No, no, I can..."

"Or whether you're going to ditch me or take me to go hang out with your fucking stoner buddies again..."

"Hey, wait, hold on..."

"Or whatever the fuck, Ted. Amy has been telling me to break up with since the first month, and I never listened to her. You know how many chances I've given you? How many fucking times do we need to have the same conversation? I'm so fucking tired of all this bullshit. No, I'm done. I'm fucking done, Ted."

"Please, Ellie, please... look, come on, just..."

"Just what, Ted? What..."

"I just! Shit! Fuck. Please. Just... just come back. Please. I can't. I don't know what to... do. I mean... I just... I... please. Look... I know... I know I haven't treated you well. I know... that... you don't like my friends. That..."

"It's not that I don't like them. I like them just fine, I just don't want to spend every waking moment with your friends from college."

"No, I know. I know. Could we... look, I can change. I haven't gone out with D or Sammie for a couple of weeks. I..."

"When's the last time you smoked?"


"Come on. You heard me."

"When I smoked? I mean, last night, I guess."


"No, but I mean, it wasn't anything, I was just watching tv, you know..."

"It's not gonna work, Ted. You're not gonna stop smoking for me. Your friends are one thing, but smoking's..."

"You want me to quit smoking?"

"Did you never listen to me?"

"But... no, I mean, yeah, we talked about me smoking less, but you never said you wanted me to stop."

"Are you kidding? You smoke so much you can't... you can't fucking get it up. I need someone who can get an erection from time to time, Ted. So, yeah, I never said I wanted you to quit, but you also said you'd smoke less so we could have sex sometime. And that didn't happen, so yeah, now I'm saying quit."

"I can't... no, I mean... you can't ask me to just quit. Cold turkey. I'm not gonna do that."

"'bye, Ted."

"No! I mean, I'll cut way back. Seriously. I swear to god."

"Not good enough. Look, I'm done. Come on, I'm not even mad anymore. We're done, Ted. Say goodbye and I'm gonna go."

"Please, Ellie. Please. Okay. Look, I'll quit. I'll quit. I'm done."

"Say goodbye, Ted."

"No, Ellie, come on, you can't just end it like this..."

"Goodnight, Ted. Goodbye."

"Ellie! Ellie! Fuck! Fuck..."