My Big Vacation!

on-the-slopes

Last year, I decided to take some time off from the pressures of not having a job and working no more than a few days at a time while still having enough money to get by, to unwind and get back to what’s really important.

I thought it might spark some creative juices; get the old idea machine workin’ again and all that.

So I packed up some stuff and headed out to North Conway, New Hampshire for ski season.

I rented a nice condo near the base of the slopes of beautiful Cranmore Mountain. Ted, over at White Mountain Vacation Rentals gave me a pretty sweet deal.

If you’ve ever ventured into ski country, you know the type. It was nice. Newish. Three bedrooms, plus a loft. Cable that only got like 50 channels (that way, you weren’t overwhelmed with too many choices). A patio.

I settled in for the long haul. My first morning, I sat in a comfy chair with a view of the slopes. I had my mug of coffee from Starbucks and I pulled out my Apple MacBook Pro and began to type.

Or that was the plan.

Even in the midst of this beautiful scenery, I couldn’t think of something to write. Inspiration was all around me, but it didn’t matter.

Did I mention I can’t ski? I’ve always admired skiers, I just don’t have the coordination for it.

So, it went on like that for a while. I would spend my days shopping, driving around, seeing the sights. At night I’d check out the restaurants and the bar scene.

Each week, I’d pack up all my belongings, move them out to my car and go kill a few hours at the movie theater until my condo was cleaned and made ready for my re-arrival. I couldn’t just leave my stuff there, it was part of the deal, for some reason.

I’d pull up to my place and inevitably, some jerkoff and his family would be unpacking their station wagon. “Howdy, neighbor!” Mr. Jerkoff would say. Then him, Eva Braun and their Hitler Youth kids would clamor into their new home for the week.

This went on for a month or two, through the Christmas season, past New Year’s and into the beginning of February pretty much without a hitch. Nothing too exciting happened. Everything was fine. I didn’t get any writing done. And then I met her.

She was sitting at the bar, dressed like most of the other MILFs in the joint. They’d just come off a long day of skiing and were looking to unwind in the company of pretty much the first guy who came along. Unless that first guy was me, as I had yet to score.

“Hi, what’s your name?” I asked her.

“Catherine,” she said, as she patted the stool next to her.

I bought her a drink. She was nice enough. Eventually, she got around to asking me how long I was in town for.

“I’m actually staying the whole season,” I replied.

“Wow!” she seemed impressed that I had the money to rent a condo for almost 3 whole months, “what do you do for a living?”

“I’m a writer,” I dreaded the follow-up to this. It was always the same thing:

“Oh, how interesting! Have you written anything I might have read?” Catherine didn’t disappoint, but apparently my answer did, judging from her facial expression.

“I’m actually in town to write a story about a guy who comes to a ski town for the whole winter, only he doesn’t ski. And to pick up women, he invents this lie that he’s a writer who’s come to a ski town for the whole winter season to get over a case of writer’s block!”

“Oh, I see, you’re making fun of me,” she said. She finished her drink and started to walk away.

“Where are you going?” I asked her.

“You obviously don’t think I’m pretty because I had this stroke and now my face makes me look like I’m always mildly disappointed!” She said, with tears in her eyes.

“Oh no, not at all! I actually thought you were mildly disappointed. In me! You know, because I’m just some writer bum who can’t even ski a lick,” I smiled at the absurdity of our situation.

She (sorta) smiled too and sat back down at the bar next to me.

“Besides, I didn’t even get to finish my story about what I’m doing here. The real story,” I told her.

“Oh, well by all means, go ahead,” she said, placing her hand on my knee.

“I’m actually in town to write a story about a guy who comes to a ski town for the whole winter, only he doesn’t ski. And to pick up women, he invents this lie that he’s a writer who’s come to a ski town for the whole winter season to get over a case of writer’s block!”

“You’re an asshole!” she said, as she started to get up, only to be stopped by the powerful grip of my hand.

“Not so fast, Strokey! I haven’t even gotten to the best part!” I wouldn’t say I had ‘raised my voice’, but I was definitely louder than I had been before.

“Stop it, you’re hurting me!” she yelled out, looking for help, but fortunately for me, New Hampshire folk know to mind their own goddam business.

“No I’m not. The best part is that I’m actually in town to write a story about a guy who comes to a ski town for the whole winter, only he doesn’t ski. And to pick up women, he invents this lie that he’s a writer who’s come to a ski town for the whole winter season to get over a case of writer’s block!–”

“You already said that part!” she screamed through her tears.

“–to get over a case of writer’s block! AND I wrote a story about the whole thing where I put in these random hyperlinks to several products I went out of my way to mention, as if I had sold out and embedded advertising into my story like some dirty sell-out rat!”

She stopped struggling.

“But, but you didn’t actually do it to make any money, right?” she asked, with a wounded puppy dog look in her eyes.

“No, of course not. I would never do that. Not to my readers, not to myself and especially not to you, Lindsay Weiglein. Happy Valentine’s Day!”

“Who’s Lindsay Weiglein?” she asked, but I couldn’t hear her, I only assumed she asked me that as I was leaving the noisy bar.

I had a plane to catch. A plane to California!

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