There’s only one table left in the bar. Typical. And it’s right in front of the band who just started and seems pretty damn loud. So you decide to just hang near the back and sip your beer in your ski boots. Maybe something will open up.
It was a big day out there. One of the biggest of the year, actually. Maybe even all time. No lunch breaks for anybody today, no downshifting, no rest breaks, and no need. Ropes were dropping, lines were sparking off in every direction, and all the favorites were paid a respectful visit: the 19th, Octopus’ Garden and even The Church. As with all great days, you spent most of in a tiny group, often alone, not seeing much of a crowd until … well … now.
You see a friend at the end of the bar. You’ve known him for years. Longer, actually. Half-full beer in hand, he’s giving a detailed blow by blow of his epic day. How it started before dawn. How he got the invite for an early tram. How he ducked a rope at just the right time and was the second person up the headwall. How he got it all fresh and got it all first.
It’s undoubtedly true of course. There’s no question in your mind that everything happened just as he said. It was a great day, after all, and he summed it up very well. He was standing in just the right spot at the end of the bar, where plenty of folks could hear him. He had a loud voice, deep and confident and easy to understand. And he was dutiful to the details: the snow, the slopes, the rollers and the rocks. But the longer he talks, the more you realize that you have little interest in hearing his story.
You wobble away to a spot behind the fireplace where you come across another group of skiers you know. In truth, they look exactly like the crowd you left behind at the end of the bar: same gear, same flushed cheeks, same goggle lines and same end-of-the-day smiles.
They see you, invite you over and ask you how your day was. They laugh at your story about the moose. And then they start into stories of their own, each one unique and unexpected, each one building on the one before it, each one making you that much more excited for what tomorrow might bring.
And after several hours of storytelling … you’re still listening.