Sometimes it’s nice being woken up on a Saturday morning by a phone call suggesting a spontaneous trip to Sugarloaf. You’re optimistically ignorant: you don’t even check the mountain’s website to see what conditions are like. Layers are good in any weather. You rehydrate on the ride over and convince yourself that the reflection of the sun off the snow is not a calculated personal attack on your eyeballs but rather a poetic metaphor for a painful reflection on last night.
It doesn’t make it hurt any less.
You get to the mountain, throw on your gear, and take a seat on the shuttle next to the 10 year old with the Go-Pro helmet camera and can’t help but wonder if he’s better than you. You mouth dirty words into the camera over his head while his dad is tightening his bootlaces. As the shuttle pulls into the drop point, you can see that the Super Quad has a line like a Harry Potter midnight release at Barnes and Nobles.
This isn’t a hypothetical anymore; this is my life. This adventure was doomed before any of us even woke up as “dangerous winds” have convinced the people in charge to shut down most of the mountain. I use quotes here not because the winds weren’t actually dangerous, but because I’m upset and out $10 worth of gas money. At least the sunset was pretty – the sky was doing that hot pink and lavender thing that I like when I’m trying to salvage my day.
Petty cash has been sparse of late; otherwise I wouldn’t have cared about one unfruitful trip to Sugarloaf. Still, until more fun things start being free I’ve decided to become a guinea pig for Colby’s Psych department. Now instead of checking the nytimes.com every morning, I check the Psych department’s experiment sign-up board to see if there’s a new person that will pay me cash for my willingness to be probed. So far all the experiments I’ve been a part of are computer based – I suppose eye contact costs extra. Recently I’ve used them as a piggy bank so often that they knew when I got a haircut. It was just a trim.
As much as I want to be introspective and interpret these experiments as being pedagogically significant to me as the subject, all I can truthfully say I’ve learned is that I have bad short term memory and for what ever reason I know a ton of idioms. But hey, $5 for 10 minutes of clicking a mouse is as easy as pie. That money doesn’t just fall of the back of a truck.