I launch off the roller in a flurry of white fluff, feet failing miserably in a desperate attempt to brake, stop, cease and desist, anything, really, to get this bobsled to halt.
But, no, here I go, airborne, blinded by my cloud of makeshift snow dust, headlamp illuminating nothing other than a furious blizzard of whirling ice, a total white out.
Shit, still flying.
There is always that moment in a projectile crash when you’ve been airborne long enough for your brain to process that no, you have yet to make land fall, and that on the contrary, your body still hurls through space, a missile. To feel yourself still flying, in an inadvertent, unwelcome free fall, is to know yourself a rag doll awaiting gravity’s fatal attraction.
Just as I start to think that I don’t know want type of landing awaits me–chalet, pole, rocks, flat, trees, bushes–I make contact, ground hard, slippery, and instead of coming to a halt, I continue this perilous game of chutes and ladders, down, down, down, half aware that nothing hurts bad enough to be broken and that I basically need to spread eagle this slope to screech to a stop because two heels simply ain’t enough friction.
So, I do, and at the bottom, I find my cousins Thibault and Quentin, mouths gaping wide, the look of horror mixing with relief mixing with disbelief, an echo of what I start to feel now that the tide of adrenaline pulls back to a tremble of fear and shock.
“We thought we’d killed our cousin,” they say to me, and well, truthfully, somewhere between those Mississippi’s, I thought I might have killed me, too, or, at the very least, seriously maimed me.
Instead, I am simply bruised with a raging headache, and the three of us pile back into the car with Vincent and Sylvie for the ride back up to a cozy bed, and holy f, that was definitely a rough way to pop the sledding cherry, a nice and gentle ride back from Namaste followed by a precipitous decline down the rouge, a tough too devilish for my bob.