SNOWBOARDING AND THINKING ABOUT EROTICISM
I went snowboarding yesterday for the first time this season. While it was bitterly cold, the cool weather has allowed the resort to blow large quantities of man made snow over the substantial (at least for this time of year) natural snow we have received of late. As any skier knows more snow is always a good thing. The cold also seemed to keep the slopes relatively bare of other skiers making lift line non-existant. I was still a bit fatigued from the previous day and night’s foray to Philadelphia, but the cool air entering my lungs did a great deal to revive me. As I took the first run down the slope, I thought of one of the things I most love about sport. That is, the feeling of one’s body as it remembers how to peform a certain motion. There is the initial akwardness, the slipping of edges upon the ice before instinct, or rather years of prior repetition kicks in and balance is regained. The feeling is intense, slithering quickly between the moguls, making fast, sharp turns before exiting in a wide, sweeping turn leaving a mist of powder in your wake. I cut through all the slopes that I had boarded on so many times before, my body remembering their steepness and returning to the old lines found in seasons past. It was freedom, or as real and embodiment of such an abstract value as can be had for 16.20. It would have been significantly more were it not for the discount card I borrowed from my brother. As the card is officially non-transferrable, I thought that there might be a problem as the card has his picture on it. His solution, to simply tell the person at the ticket counter that the picture on the card was taken “before the accident!”
Unfortunately, the reason that I was able to use Tim’s card was that he was stuck at work. I tried calling my old bandmate and my ex-girlfriend, but Adam was financially strapped, and Lisa had to work. Snowboarding alone is a bit odd. Its certainly not as fun. The slopes, after the initial re-learning period, quickly lose their challenge, and its always more fun to have a buddy to start a race down the slope or challenge one to some large jump. At the smae time, riding alone gives one a lot of time to think when riding the lift. As I sat, my face wet from my running nose and the melting snow from the blowers, I found myself fixated on the move I had seen the day before, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon. Not only that, but I was fixated on one scene in particular. One of the key characters in the movie is the young daughter of a wealthy official. While seemingly living the traditional role of a young chinese girl, she secretly trained to become a martial arts master. In one scene, while traveling through the breathtaking Gobi desert, her caravan is attacked by bandits lead by a charismatic young horseman. He steals from her a jade comb, and she spends the next minutes of the movie chasing him down and attempting to pummel the shit out of him to reagain her comb. I wish that my friends could have seen this scene as they might better understand my insistence that, in rare occasions, violence is the only way to accurately express certain emotions or ideas and that sex is not the pinnacle of intimacy or some right of passage in a relationship. As soon as the drawn out chase/fight scene begins it is clear that the two combatants have the hots for each other. The scene is one of the single most erotic things I have ever seen. Action and violence seem to be the perfect expression of that excitement that one feels when one is deeply attracted to another person. Similarly that sense of competition, the sparring, the blood and the sweat exemplify what I feel the perfect relationship would be. No, not someone to kick me around, but someone who challenges me, someone who makes me want to be better than I am, someone who fascinates me and captivates me by her skill and prowess. Later in the movie, there is a more traditional love scene, but it seems (and I would thing purposely) anti-climactic. It is clear that the two characters have already discovered and explored each other in a way that transcends the traditional role of eroticism. Sexual activity is an afterthought, a formality, something paling in comparrison to a larger expression of love and admiration. Thinking about that scene, I realized “that is what I want, that is how I want to feel, that is how I want to fall in love.” And there have been times I have experienced something like that feeling. When I have been talking to a girl and felt challenged and envigorated and alive. However, it seems, instead of rising to the challenge of sparking something mutually exciting, I sketch out, freak out and act stupid, afraid of the way such a girl makes me feel impressed and excited. Other times, my thirst for that competition, that challenge, becomes twisted into animosity which is, obviously, completely counterproductive. I don’t know what the solution is, and I don’t know how I can stop myself from continually shooting myself in the foot. I do, however, from my frosty contemplation, have a heightened awareness of that which would make me truly happy. As images of cinema and wisps of memory combined, they formed, for a moment, an image of perfection and of perfect contentment. The question, I suppose, is whether this idealization is, in fact, able to be solidified in reality, and moreover, if I will allow it do so.