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Monday, March 19, 2007


posted by on March 19 at 10:20 AM

You drive out of town in a friend’s car with several snowboards strapped to the roof. It’s dark. It’s going to rain. Then you’re in the mountains, several miles south of the Canadian border. You go to bed, you wake up, and sure enough. At the snowboard rental shop, the lady says, “You know it’s raining?” This is so that you don’t ask for your money back. You rent stuff anyway.

The snow on Mt. Baker is juicy. It’s like a white cherry Slurpee. It doesn’t hurt to fall—both because it’s slippery-soft and because you’ve learned how not to fall. But it rains and rains and rains. According to a sign in the snowboard rental shop, the rain is supposed to let up. Doesn’t happen. Over lunch in the lodge, staring out at dogs and cats falling from the sky, everyone else decides they’ve had enough. You all head back to the cabin, sit in the hot tub, drink beer, and say a bunch of things to the effect of, “Next time.”

The next day would have been great for snowboarding—no rain, some sun, perfect temperature, day-after-it-rained snow—but certain people insist on getting back. On the drive back to Seattle you watch the unfolding of spring. You drop someone off in Wallingford, across the street from a crazily blossoming tree. The sliver of Lake Union you can see is crowded with white sails. There are crazily blossoming trees in other neighborhoods too. You have you take off some layers. It’s 62 degrees! You go home and sit in the sun in your living room. Your brain fills with some E. E. Cummings poems about spring: “you open always petal by petal myself as Spring opens (touching skilfully, myseriously) her first rose”… “it’s spring and the goat-footed balloonman whistles far and wee”…

Next morning, alas, it’s back to being mud-luscious out. It’s expected to rain all week, according to the radio.

RSS icon Comments


An honest, writing-related question: Would this post have lost something by being written in the first person and past tense? I'm assuming this is what happened to you this past weekend, as it is not happening to me now.

Posted by Levislade | March 19, 2007 10:34 AM

I feel like the use of second person is warranted. Most people who read the Slog probably have gone snowboarding at some point in their lives, and expecting them to be able to insert themselves into the retelling of this experience isn't too much of a stretch. Second person isn't a beast to fear; it's a tool that can be used to one's advantage, and using it in a little story about snowboarding for a blog seems entirely reasonable.

Posted by Aislinn | March 19, 2007 11:42 AM

You need to use different wax when it's raining - do it wrong and you stick like glue.

And get one of your group to snake the fireplace - you'll need it.

Posted by Will in Seattle | March 19, 2007 12:00 PM

Thanks, Aislinn; that's a very well thought out response. To me it seems like a very specific account, and the tense and case serve to make it seem more arty than it might have otherwise ("So this weekend I went snowboarding, but it rained; bummer!"), but that's about it. What you say makes sense, though.

Posted by Levislade | March 19, 2007 12:16 PM

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