Thursday, December 11, 2008

Day 214

hey. i gotta run. busyness has pounced and i'm running to do a gig at tea house, then have band practice, and then work hooked employees up with a free night in the resort on the hill. we've got training there early in the morning. this is day 214. details later.

post edit:

ray lamontagne is echoing in green peaked ceilings of a two bedroom suit. a snow machine is purring right outside. the thermostat produces a few quick ticks and then three flames appear around a fake stack of wood in the fireplace. i'm here, sipping complementary coffee in this resort room on the ski hill. all for free. here's what happened after i cut it short earlier.

i walked to the tea house to play for thursday night. the icy draft pushed colder and faster down the mountains and over the highway and between buildings and against my bearded chin. the full moon illuminated white peaks in all directions. i feet like the last piece of cereal in a bowl.

the tea house, and all of downtown for that matter, was dead and quiet. even by six this weeknight, the early dark and intense freeze has put people away in their apartments converted from former, main street hotel rooms or into their shared houses or has called them to the smog of loud laugher and classic rock in one of the pubs. it didn't look like anyone would come in tonight so instead of pulling out the keyboard, the owners offered me some coffee. i accepted. both the bob dylan and writing book were in my backpack.

i sat in my usual seat- the furthest, tall table that faces the door- but lowered the book and broke the collective silence, happening to create a conversation with the owners leaving me wishing i had a tiny tape recorder. or a notepad. i framed an imaginary viewfinder to balance her excited face with the coffee and tea in the background as if the conversation was being recorded.

three years ago, after leaving a successful career in book binding and forsaking the idea of opening a bed and breakfast, randy and his wife moved to fernie and opened the tea house as a specific specialty shop. struggles to find a building downtown and contractors for a complete interior renovation were overcome with sincere faith. her excitement could have convinced me that they'd just opened last week.

she asked my story as well. the summary of opportunities, faith, and obstacles excited both of us. i still remember that quick and sudden process of committing to work at camp in late april and telling my family as i left in mid may that i had a feeling that might not be back right away. i still remember that feeling. i still have it. randy's wife said i should write a book. i told her i really want to someday.

we talked about the sketchy theory of global warming and how a recent news headline told how obama was suddenly turning the market around. the tv is flickering across this resort room at the moment and i happened to just notice a cheesy commercial for some newly issued abraham lincoln/obama dollar coin. he isn't even sworn in yet. i wonder how many other presidents have been turned coin before chief. i wonder what it all means.

i was still genuinely interested in their story and asked about book binding. their machine would produce ten thousand books in one hour.

a van pulled in front of the window and headlights flashed. our band had one last practice before our first show this saturday night. we're feeling good about it. friends from montana are coming up for the weekend and we still have two visiting camp friends here too. i walked out the door with intentions to return tomorrow to hear the rest about binding books and running a coffee shop.

now tonight, the crew of newly hired resort housekeepers were given free rooms at the various resorts after our first day of training. we start again at eight thirty to learn how to clean these rooms.

this is a strange and random combination. poor. foreign. rock star. janitor. resort.

i took a walk around the place as is now tradition for larger-than-life mountain resorts. the chair lift is right outside. there's a dark and empty restaurant and coffee house and gear rental place on the main level. spas are next to the elevator on each floor. the parking garage is warm, clean, and empty. all this is within the incredible amount of stacked logs of this giant cabin. i got up here after ten so i don't know if there are many other employees in surrounding rooms but the season still hasn't started so i know that the whole property is almost entirely vacant.

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