On the trail: My life is better than your holiday | AspenTimes.com

On the trail: My life is better than your holiday

Christian Manie
The Aspen Times
Aspen CO, Colorado

ASPEN ” It might be cliched, bandied about willy-nilly by those left behind, but I really do love our town this time of year. The colors ” of course the colors, earth-toned reds, greens, yellows, and browns ” set the mountainsides alight beneath the glorious afternoon-gold glow. It’s cool at night, approaching outright cold, but still pleasant in a sweater and jeans. Winter is coming. As much as I bemoan the passing of our too-short summer, it’s a grief tinged with bright-white, crystalline excitement (no … the other sort, but evidenced by a similar euphoria).

Yet, best of all, and the most omnipresent pleasantry ” no people. Or more accurately, only my people. And your people. Our people.

No tourists. No socially self-contained billionaires or tag-along sycophantic strumpets. No New Yorker brogue yelling to get the attention and beer for which you’ve been waiting patiently. No one wearing knee-high socks and sandals standing at Rubey Park with a camera around their neck, asking how to get into town. Not that I take any personal or particular offense at such flaccid displays of humanity ” it is, after all, part and parcel of living in a resort community and these things are necessary (evils?).

I take true comfort in the adage, “My life is better than your holiday”, so if you have allotted 30 seconds to get a beer, go ahead: I’ve got all year. Indeed, you may well find me here next year, still waiting for beer.

So, I’m looking forward to the peace. To waking up and strolling “I Am Legend”-like through ghostly quiet back streets. I’m looking forward to my near-religious offseason observances; chess with the Irishman and the Englishman, hiking solitary trails of yellow and red groves and waterfall grottos, morning coffees and reading with Carly and the girls at Ink, lazy afternoon beers in bars where all my friends are, because they’re the only people around, and there are only a few bars open.

And by the time Thanksgiving rolls on around, I’m truly thankful. Thankful for where I live and with whom I share this place. Thankful that, in the coming months, I can take a breath in chairlift lines and while waiting at overcapacity bars, and know that my life really is better than their holiday.

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