There are certain differences between Sabina and I, most certainly. Notably, is a matter of height; she is five-seven without help. Stubby, as she would say. Whilst, if my twisted spine were straight, I would be over seven feet, instead of only being close to six and a half in a set of boots. I am also a bit more lithe than her-and by lithe I mean I can make a stripped-to-the-bones-and-beyond-skeleton look absolutely gluttonous. And then there's the obvious anatomical difference.
Other than that, we're fine. Just about the same. Safe as houses...
But a big difference between us is how we deal with the leaves changing. I enjoy the moment. The colors. She sees it as a harbinger; an omen of winter; cold and bitter and dark times. Once, I got indignant about this difference, speaking like my father about the fact;
"Woman, the cold hurts me down the very marrow sometimes, whereas it's just something for you to piss and moan about...."
What an ugly thing to say. Yeh, I've got a twisted skeleton, strung together by bubblegum and baling wire, I suppose, but that's hardly the point. I felt bad for it.
As far as ski resort towns go, I dig Breckenridge. It started out as a mining town back during antiquity and still has some of the older structures. Therefore, it's got some funk, and you got to have the funk. There's also a spice store, a distillery, and the shoppe Space Cowboy, which I like for buttons, pins, stickers, patches and the occasional CD. The last time I was there I picked up a green bandanna.
I once told Sabina I wear bandannas to show solidarity to my strong Tuareg brothers, like those in the band Tinariwen, wandering the African Sahel and beyond. Never mind that my African heritage is several millions of years removed from my more immediate ancestry of Scottish, English, and Italian, we are all from Africa, it's just a matter of generations. Homo sapiens got their first big break in Africa. The stories began in Africa.
There's also the fact I refer to our narrow rift-like valley as a Sahel, but that's another tangent...
We were in Breckenridge for Oktoberfest as volunteers for a local conservation center. Aside from doing a good thing, we got a couple of free drinks out of it. Altruism and mercenary all at the same time. Fantastic.
As we wandered through the shifting crowds of humanity, gentle cool breezes blew, causing the leaves to rattle and flutter like multi-colored coins. The demographic of tourists; the try-too-hard-cowboy and his plump wife, the Latino family, the couple in east coast casual-looking like they had just seen someone married off or put in the ground-the hipster kids, and outdoor gear label-whores, would stop and marvel at the colors. Here was a form of magic made manifest that did not involve spells and fireballs and thunderbolts. Being a sucker for those moments of simple humanity, I could not help but smile at their innocent reactions of simple wonder.
A few glasses of wine, a stop at the distillery for a tasting, and half a roadie later, we stood atop Loveland Pass. We decided to walk up one of the trails just a bit, even though we were both in sandals. Miguel Loco one told me one of the trails followed a great deal of the spine of the Rockies and another was a back way to Grizzly Gulch across the summit of Mount Sniktau. I looked up the steep grade and took a moment to anthropomorphize with a growl.
"I fucked your mother last night. That's right. I shanked her pink ass and she looooooooooooooooooved it!"
And I marched up the mountainside. Getting to our stopping point, we took in the Roof of the World and surrounding tundra, Tibetan in its iron gray and rust colored countenance. A friend of mine once led a dinner toast with the mantra; we live where others come to vacation! Taking in the view I was reminded of the cosmic truth of that statement.
"We live here because so few have the spine to," I said to Sabina as I embraced her and collected a kiss. The only person crazy enough to jump off the end of the world with me. I try to let her know how grateful I am often.
The breezes were far cooler at twelve-thousand feet. The atmosphere thinner, That's just the way of it. We made our way back. There was a roadie to finish and we were grilling. The sun would be setting in an hour. Below us, we could see tiger-striping amongst the aspens. The peak of the colors so close it could almost be tasted.
"I reckon the changing of the seasons doesn't bother me that much," I mused. "I'm going to miss summer. I like riding my bike. But I've got a parka and snow-boots. It's all part of the cycle."
Sabina said nothing. She just smiled. Our viewpoints of the seasons, of the colors, balance one another out. And that's the important thing; balance. Everything else is just a detail.