I'm having a bad quarter. :(
Yesterday I skipped class in order to go back to the hill and meet our fallen friend's brother; his girlfriend was also there. We brought a bouquet of irises, a 6-pack of organic IPA, and a candle for the memorial. What we did is we skied down to the spot where he died, planted the flowers in the snow, opened a beer and poured some of it out to him, and left the bottle there for the day. While we did that, a big ice chunk came rolling down the hill, smacked a flower right off the stem, ann smacked Steve in the chest. That's so odd that we feel like it was his spirit saying hi. Also the sun broke out, and the rays were doing that "God light" thing you see on postcards; later a halo formed around the sun. I sensed the thought, "aw, and you even brought your gaper wife."
It's true, I was kind of sucking on that run. It was a steep, icy run with big ol' frozen ice chunks lurking under a dusting of snow, and branches sticking out of the snow on ridges where the wind has scoured off the snowpack. I was not having a good time getting down there. Then we took the brother and girlfriend to the spot; the brother was able to traverse and sidestep up to it from a blue run, but the girlfriend is a green circle skier and was amazed that she was able to handle the backside at all, so she just saw the spot from the chair as we went back up. Steve and the brother lit a candle and drank a beer to him while I hung out with her.
She said she thought we were really great, and not the crazy people she assumed we were. I'm not sure how we managed to come across as crazy during our first meeting, but okay. It's not totally UNtrue. It's more like we have terrible judgment, which accumulates over time into a somewhat stupid lifestyle. It's not like you can get a good judgment shot or go to good judgment school. I'm so insecure about it that I don't even drive. It's like . . . a special kind of dumbass, where you can learn information but not apply it well in the field. Picture the exact opposite of a CIA agent or a con artist. I used to wonder whether I was autistic, but the autistic people I know seem better at it than me, so . . . something worse? Maybe I was born with half a brain? One never knows.
So, that all went fine, and I felt like it was good that we were there, and that our friend's brother appreciated the chance to be at the spot and say goodbye. Steve and I skied back down the run to remove the glass at the end of the day . . . conditions were much worse. I managed to flail my way down there, but with the addition of moguls it had become a double black run. Aw; it was the first double black I'd ever skied as a matter of fact, and might I say I was better at the first time. We shared another beer and then packed up, leaving the flowers, which were doing fine in the cold. This time I sensed that he felt bad for his family.
The cause of death turned out to be a very enlarged heart and blocked arteries, which runs in his family. Also, he'd never told his girlfriend the results of the echocardiogram he'd had done a few weeks before, so it's possible he knew. Maybe he went out exactly the way he wanted to. It certainly beats a hospital, if you gotta go.