Sunday, November 20, 2005

Powerline run

The snow returned today. Geoff and I headed behind the house to get a few runs on our snowboards. We found a powerline run that was short but sweet; however, that did not change the fact that beneath five inches of fresh power was a rain-drenched layer of glare ice. On the way home a couple of kids called out to us from the hill. When we looked up, we saw them beckoning us toward a jump they were building, with the crest approaching the tops of their heads and an instant drop-off into a steep gully. It looked like a blast and would have been tempting if not for the whole certain death aspect. And my family thinks I'm not going to live through the winter.

This evening I took a backstage tour of the tallest building in Homer ... the Mariner Theatre at the high school. The production manager of our hometown Nutcracker ballet led me up the twisting staircase to the "deck," a full seven stories above the stage. Already a bit dizzy and disoriented from climbing those stairs, I stepped onto the cross-linked metal platform and, of course, looked down. I'm one of those vertigo people that tends to see long drops rush up at me ala, well, Alfred Hitchcock's "Vertigo." So I just froze in place, absolutely exposed with no hand railing on a bottomless, dangling floor. I must have looked absolutely stricken because the production manager said "I like to bring the little kids up here. They think they'll turn to Jello and slip through," he said. "It gives 'em a good scare." As I struggled to find my center of balance, I felt exactly like Jello, but I didn't say anything. Although the rest of the tour was a bit hazy after that, walking around on those narrow catwalks with my heart in my head and vice versa. And my family thinks I'm not going to live through the winter.