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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Memoir: Locked In

I sprawled on the snowy banks, limbs akimbo. As I unzipped my jacket, it felt as if steam escaped from each chamber of my heart. My legs burned. My arms ached. Every pore was a bruise.

Two five year old girls, dressed in matching pink snowsuits whisked by me on their skis. Swishing and giggling, leaving only icy spray in their wake.

I hated them. Their natural balance. Their fearlessness. I felt every one of my years as I slumped on the snow, doing my best impersonation of a speed-bump. 

"Okay, let's do this," I mumbled, hoisting myself to a standing position. I shifted my weight, bending my knees forward. I glided, as the chill gave way to breathless, flurried motion.

And then, just as I stopped gritting my teeth,  I crumbled into a heap. "God Damnit!" I mumbled. "Stupid piece of shit snowboard."

My husband's cousin slid to a smooth, perfect stop by my side. She lifted up her sunglasses, exposing  sun-kissed cheeks. "You're pretty pissed off now, aren't ya?"

I coughed, "Yes. This kinda sucks."

She leaned in, "You know," she whispered, "You're so close. You've gotta use your anger sometimes to make things happen." She shushed away, a transcendent snowflake already melting in my palm.

I was white-hot. Glowing. The anger was mine, and I would use it.

I stood up and locked in my bindings. I stared down the hillside, and let go of the earth.

I would not be grounded. Lesson learned. *

*After falling on my ass about a million more times.

11 comments:

Susan said...

Love your descriptions - I felt like I was there! I have never attempted to snowboard, but my husband did and he gave up! Good for you for pressing on!

Galit Breen said...

Oh Nancy, this. I get this.

Not the skiing- because my sense of adventure is oh-so-very small. But that anger.

I love what she said about using your to make things happen.

And I love your very last line. :)

CDG @ Move Over Mary Poppins! said...

white hot. glowing.

isn't a good mad the best?

and while I can ski just fine, I've never snowboarded. If ever do, I'm going to think of you.

Cheryl said...

Those kids? So annoying. Stupid low center of gravity. Try learning to ski at age 23 and at 5-foor-8! Hmph!

Sorry. You brought back my own ski rage.

;)

xo

Kir said...

As always your words were so vivid I shivered and it's 75 degrees in PA right now. WOW.

I have used anger for a lot of things, it's an emotion I've made friends with. ;)

Formerly known as Frau said...

That is why I like skiing over boarding better....you have to fall a lot to learn! Great story!

Elaine A. said...

You are SO brave just for trying! I probably would never...

Good Lesson!

Kim said...

I understand the hatred of the five year olds. I feel like this with any physical thing that forces me to compare myself to others.

I haven't gone skiing in YEARS but it would be close to this scene for sure. Great piece!

Jenna said...

some wise words! a great prompt response too!

er said...

I was right there. I've been skiing once in my life, and it was a disaster. And let's just say when I saw the "bunny slope?" it didn't look very "bunny-like" to met at all. intimidating.

you captured the frustration and anger perfectly. wonderful job!

xo

Julie said...

You are so brave. I'm a skier and refuse to even try snow boarding.

Mostly because I'm a coward. But also because I don't let the good-mad propel me forward.

I'm more of a giver-upper.

And I don't want to be.

So instead, I rarely try something I don't think I'll be good at.

Which sucks in its own way.

p.s. Your writing is white-hot. Love the transcendent snowflake melting in your palm. Such imagery. Shivers.