Maxed Out 

Mission accomplished

By G.D. Maxwell

"This truly is a four-season resort," I was thinking to myself.

On the sunny patio of Dusty’s Smokin’ Joint on a recent globally-warmed, pre-spring, spring day, I was wallowing in the fourth season – second beer – of the day. Obviously the kind of activity capable of inducing deep, philosophical thoughts… or reducing them to vacuous marketing slogans.

Still steaming from a top-to-bottom, West Bowl-Peak to Creek run – Please God, don’t ever let Intrawest or their successor have a good enough year to waste money summer grooming those runs – a blazing March sun was beginning to burn the reality of another ski season coming to a premature climax through my wooden skull. Since heading up, I’d skied ice, chalk, packed powder, a cache of real powder I’d found over by… wait a minute, why tell you, slush and finally dirty schmoo. If it had only rained a few minutes, the day would have qualified as a Total Whistler Experience.

I had a standing order with the best waitress Williams Lake ever produced to replenish whatever I was drinking whenever my glass fell below the one-inch mark, order to stand until further notice. Judging by its rate of descent, I reckoned the sun had another hour before it was punctured by the jagged peaks of the Tantalus and late winter returned to reclaim the patio. At my current rate of consumption that would be another… carry the two… math is hard, a few more refreshing beverages.

"Paisan! Long damn time, no see-um." The voice croaked out of nowhere.

Sometimes, when your body is weary from a hard day of work or a hard day of play, and you close your eyes and stare at the inside of your eyelids and the sun’s shining really hard, after a while, sometimes, a very psychedelic checkerboard swirly pattern begins to mess with your confused optical nerve, creating a vortex sort of effect and making everything feel very, very strange.

But not as strange as having that feeling interrupted by J.J.

Even with my eyes still closed, I could hear him finish my beer. But I couldn’t hear him walking away. Instead, I heard the sound of a metal chair scraping across the patio’s bricks and the whoomph of his bulk sitting down.

"J.J.," I said. "I thought you’d checked out of this place or something. It’s been… a long time I guess."

"Hey, man, you can check out any time you’d like, but you can…"

"No J.J., don’t do this to me. Noooo…."

"… never leave."


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