Letter: An ode to 1A | AspenTimes.com

Letter: An ode to 1A

It’s beyond late for skiing, but here’s a poem for poor old Lift 1A:

It’s late spring / The sun heads higher / Get out your mirrored shades / Get out those sleazy suspenders / And let go into the buttery grainy blessing of a Slalom Hill mogul / Find your rhythm; find the feeling of the slope; find that flow / Maybe hot dog it a bit more than you should for Mill Street and the bums.

And skid beaming into the runout at the foot of Norway / There she is! That ugly-beautiful burro / That scruffy slow sunburnt holdout 1A / She’s not much to look at; she ain’t that historic; maybe she’s a bit trickier to board / But she’s my favorite.

All around the gnashing of too-white teeth, the guzzling of taurine, the Lycra, the ski valets, the complimentary hand wipes, the pasted-on stone / The uncontrollable savage hot pornographic breath of money / A syrupy stench rises off it, wafts through the air and bounces off this incongruous “f— you” from the past.

Shimmy onto your buckboard seat and swing out into space; she’s quiet / Quiet enough to hear the rib and rub and roll of the rope / The squeegee smile of the shivs / The carve and swim of skis below / The words of your friends.

She’s quiet enough to occasionally hear the drone of the gondola from all the way over here / FedExing the phone fetishistas to the Sundeck / Effecting the efficient utilization of illiquid assets for maximum capital return and shareholder value / Of course somebody wants that over here, too.

But you’ve come to meditate a short while / 1A puts you in a different mood / You watch the skiers intently, study their grace / Maybe it’s worth a friendly heckle or hoot / You pick your lines / You breathe in the bracing air, you breathe out / And you let things take their time.

Yeah when you get off you’re gonna hit it as hard as you can / But at the end you don’t remember how many laps, how many feet / You remember specific, perfect, shiver-inducing turns.

And you remember a mellow ride on an old lift / Blue sky / That swing.

Keep it.

Chris Hassig


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