I live my life for the moments when I can perch briefly outside of my body and look at where I am and who I’m with and revel at how lucky I am.
Sometimes I play a game where I imagine that every five minutes, a different stranger finds themselves suddenly occupying my body. Their mind, in a new body, in a new place. My goal is that this will be an improvement for the anonymous stranger. One second, they’re sitting at a desk with a styrofoam cup of gas station coffee going cold by their left hand, staring at a poorly-made powerpoint presentation on the screen; the next, they find themselves getting hit in the face by a wet branch of spruce needles, and they catch their balance and step forward and there’s a lake, lit-up by a setting sun, and they’re not on a trail but the way to the water’s edge is softened with moss. “What the fuck?” they think. “Where am I? What is this beautiful place?” And someone whoops in their ear and they’re getting a beer out of a backpack and everybody’s moving to the water.
I don’t want the stranger to wake up in my body and have the moment of shock and weirdness wear off to leave…boredom. No, I want them to think, “Ok, I gotta get back to my body, but you know what – let’s take a minute. Wherever I am, this is fuckin’ awesome.”
I got back from Colorado a couple days ago. Third and final visit of this ski season. It would have been a good place for anonymous stranger to jump in.
Boom – they find themselves leaning over a pool table, and they probably think, “Whoever’s body I’m occupying, they’re the worst at pool,” but there’s a good song playing loud, and hey, there’s a giant PBR at their side, and these people around, they’re smiling at the stranger like they’ve known them their whole life. And boom – they find themselves flying down a snowy mountain, ankles pressed forward into ski boots, and there’s snow crystals hitting their cheeks around the goggles, snow thick around the conifers, and ahead of them the mountain spills down into foggy white oblivion like a creamy, pouring splash of cold milk. And boom, they find themselves flopped into a bank of powder wearing this ridiculous onesie, and their skis are sticking out at opposite angles, and there’s someone standing down the slope, under a tree, and their stomach hurts like they’ve just been full-body laughing. And boom, suddenly they’re sitting in the back of a big SUV on someone’s lap, hips pressed into hips, shoulders overlapping, there’s like eight people in this SUV, and everyone’s singing at the tops of their lungs as if they’re saving the world with this song, and outside the snow’s still falling.
And boom, suddenly they’re outside again, in white chilly sunlight, and it’s freezing but all they’re wearing are tights and this stupid strappy shirt, and there are others too, and they’re all dancing;
we’re all dancing, throwing snow balls into the air so that the tiny crystalline flakes fall back onto our faces, into our hair, onto our bare arms, and the air is light and clear, and we’re singing and shouting like the oxygen
I love you, friends. I love you brother. And you, Colorado – you will always be a place of significant events, significant people, things I will always remember.