Snow Country

I’m on my back at the bottom of a sledding hill. There’s a friend of Bodhi coming down the run we’ve built.  But I can’t move, overwhelmed, Todd-feeling again.  Missing him in the snow, though we never spent all that much time in the snow. Especially not since he got sick.  The cold didn’t work too well for him with his pain condition so I didn’t invite him the times we went and he never asked to go.  But there were some really classic times in the old days and they all come back to me now.   Its windfall now, every branch is piled half a foot high and any good wind brings a new shower, clumps and fine particles, a light snow, a heavy snow all at once.

At night, roof dump like a kid falling out of bed, wait for the crying, no, its roof dump.  In the day, tree falls like a flock of thrush in the California woods, surprising.

When I first moved to NYC in 1985, Todd would take us Cross-country skiing at Mohonk Mountain and Lake Minnewaska with Bob Perl.   It was all new to me, we would run for hours in the freezing cold out to the point burning weed the whole way.   After lunch and more running it would grow afternoon dim and we would lie down exhausted and freezing on the trail.  Todd would say, “I’m just gonna rest here for a few minutes.  Make sure you let them know I was here when the snows come.”  As if he would be buried under and never get up again.

Another time when I was a junior in High School, Todd came home from Eckerd College in Florida.  My friend Lenny’s brother was the food and beverage manager for the Lake Placid Club and we were invited after Christmas.  Todd was single and so was Lenny’s gorgeous sister Wendy.  They hit it off at once and after dinner the four of us went out for a moonlit toboggan run on the golf course.  Engulfing white blindness, indeed blind on more weed, we launched headlong into the grateful oblivion of forgetfulness.  Their was no moonlight, just snow falling and the only signal we were moving, the wind in our ears, rushing, roaring, laughing fitfully, crying really.   A huge bump, a jump and at landfall, the sled is lighter.  I’m in front, not sure who’s left, where we are, when it will end, and it does, a whump, roll over, die laughing.  Where’s Wendy?    Gone, she is half way up the hill.  Turned neck, and a neck brace puts the damper on any romance with Todd that weekend.

I’m on my back still, I can’t move, don’t want to, light and heavy all at once.

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