To be completely honest, I was thinking dark thoughts. Somehow, drinking dark beer and thinking dark thoughts seemed to be parallel threads in a common unreality. One blended seamlessly into the other, both seeming bottomless, as I glazed, staring at an infinite point maybe three feet in front of my nose.
I was wallowing in a malaise in Dustys after another day exceeding guests expectations assuming they werent expecting much. Trying to remember what day of the week it was and whether wed just slipped through Christmas, New Years, or both. A blur of faceless holidayers möbiused through my mind, shuffling their snowy, wet feet across memory neurons, leaving no impression but confusing delicate remembrances soon to be muddled in the soup of personal history.
How many days had it been since Id had a day off? Trying to count I got tangled up in fascination with my own fingerprints, better just to carve notches in Marks table. No, that could lead to close encounters with sharp objects. Best to just forget and call it a lot.
It was after Christmas. I remembered opening presents. More distinctly, I remembered skiing Christmas morning in more snow than Id ever seen on Whistler Mountain all at one time. Faceshots the length of Dave Murray, straightlining Tokum to keep from losing momentum in thigh-deep was it really thigh-deep snow. Watching boarders drop into fluff-filled gullies and have to swim back to the surface, struggling as though theyd fallen into pools of quicksnow. Filling the inside of my jacket with snow on Fall Away because it was so deep it came in through open pitzips. Oh yeah, it was definitely after Christmas cuz Christmas was another indelible memory day in Paradise. Filed and cataloged.
It must have been after New Years too. I remembered having written 2003 a number of times already. Wouldnt have done that if we were still in 2002, not like its something I need to practice. Thoughts drifted back to deep Christmas snow, post New Year rain, dishing up the Whole Whistler Experience again and again. Karmas gonna catch ya boy. Think nice thoughts.
"Whatthehell you starin at, bro?"
It was the sound of Karma catching up with me. J.J., ever generous with my tab, ordered another beer for me and one for himself as he swung his bulk into the seat next to mine. "What day is this, J.J.?"
"Day after yesterday."
I didnt need another riddle and I wasnt sure I needed to see J.J. Theres never a good time to be sneaked up on by J.J., but solitary, reflective moments crash to a particularly abrupt halt when he appears. J.J. Geddyup Whistlers only private eye embodies intrusion. His disheveled appearance is intrusive. His hurky-jerky locomotion is intrusive. His voice is pure intrusion. The stale smell of unfiltered French cigarettes clinging to his personal atmosphere is intrusive. And his personality was intruding on my dark serenity like a dentists drill poking into the pulp of a live tooth.