Issue FIVE Release Party
Clubhouse, Salt Lake City, UT
You were there. You felt nighttime air biting through your Fall layers. A peculiar Fall indeed, at least it seemed; you’d say ‘wintry’ despite actual Winter being well-over a month away. Maybe that’s embellishment. Maybe it isn’t that chilly. Maybe Fall’s just moving hastily. Maybe you’ve been standing outside for too long. Engulfed in industrial smoke. Liquified by precipitous libations. And who are you toasting to? The demigod that derailed you from civilian life. The monster living under your bed. You’re toasting to the worm inside the apple; the one who found its way in and burrowed out a scrumptious nest. The thing you’re toasting is snowboarding, obviously, but what’s prompting the occasion – what brought us to celebrate together – was the release of this very publication’s 5th issue.
You feel your spirit elevate in both substance and volume. You’re bombarded with conversation and camaraderie. The terrific turnout is indicative of the current state of your community: the faction of boarders encouraging, being driven by, and sharing physical and metaphorical space with other boarders is growing. That alone is worth relishing. You stop relishing because you notice goth mist. You dance. You’re outside again and it seems colder but that’s because you’ve been sweating inside the packed house and also because it’s gotten colder but you don’t mind it, now do you?
After meandering through the packed kitchen, you reemerge before the stage. People are flying across it. With each flight, everyone around you laughs and cheers and claps. You can’t help yourself either.
“No way!” you say through a laugh.
“Way to be!” you cheer.
And then Brown Cinema pops up and soars about the stage and everyone claps a lot. Then everyone stops flying and the lights direct your attention to a large easel draped in white cloth. You stare at it intently. You wish a gust of wind would breeze through and cause the cloth to bloom and fall to the ground. Or you wish the cloth were a sheet-ghost billowing through the stuffy room, leaving its innards exposed. Before you can wish any more, two magicians make the cloth disappear and reveal Kennedi was underneath there all along! For this trick you accompany the rest of the room in a tremendous applause. You think you see blood; the celebration is that visceral.
Everyone needs a breather after that. You’re outside again but you’re less cold than you were earlier for some reason. A heightened happiness takes hold of you. Even though you’ve been mingling with friends all night, you bump into one that speaks the same language as you. Or maybe vice versa but either way: now you’re really communicating. It could be mega-happiness or ultra-happiness – you’re not sure – but it’s definitely some caliber of joy that far exceeds the levels you’re accustomed to. They skew time and before you know it you and the rest of the people-pit realize that the Vans video just ended and you missed it. Well… You’re excited to watch it when it comes out online.
Now the Clubhouse employees are unfortunately upset. You’re pretty sure it’s not that they don’t like us but they’ve been receiving a number of noise complaints and the party has to move elsewhere. But there’s a lot of taking-down that has to happen, so you join an outfit to assist in doing just that. You wonder how all that stuff vanished so quickly but then you remember that the magicians are behind this so you don’t wonder much longer; you just accept that some things you have to chalk up to pure magic.
Something happens and now everyone is bumming pizza slices and cigarettes off each other outside a bar that won’t serve us beer anymore. You step over vomit on the curb. In the sprawling bile you spot a chunk of the magazine and recognize a kink rail in the scrap; whoever spewed ate their snowboarding too fast.
You pass Liberty Park on the way home. There’s a heap of snow lying on a grassy knoll. Your Lyft driver explains that that’s for Shredfest, and that he’s actually driving Lyft tonight in hopes of earning enough bread to buy a ticket.
You say “I hate to be the bearer of bad news, buddy, but you just picked us up from Shredfest. You missed it!”
This confuses him. “I thought the rail jam and the concert were tomorrow?”
“I don’t know about all that,” you say like a dickhead. “All I know is that we’ve been shredding all night with the shredders so it must’ve been Shredfest.”
It’s raining in the morning. It’s the perfect atmosphere to gather ‘round the kitchen table and finally open the magazine. You wonder how Neils got up in that tree. So does everyone else but group-think does nothing to work out an actual answer. This exemplifies a more mathematical side of magic, like a physical riddle. The last page turns and you revisit the cover. Kennedi perched in that nighttime air, “Rude Girls” on the base – essentially an admonishment. This is practical magic; the trick happens before your eyes exactly how it was supposed to.
Somehow the hours have flown away into the grey afternoon. In that time, Shredfest went from a joke to the punchline. You are back. Future Mystic’s playing and you’re dancing in the cold drizzle to keep warm. Then it’s dark and you’re eating pizza again and then you’re back inside a building with your coterie, celebrating more magic. At this point it’s nearly Disney Magic.
You rush off to the Amtrak station. A man checks your ticket.
“Ah, you got the roomette.” He verifies by looking at you. “I’m O.C. and I’ll be your nighttime attendant. Let me walk you up to your room.”
You two move peacefully upstairs and halfway down the car. He opens a set of plush drapes for you to enter your space and you listen to him recite a few of the amenities. A light, an outlet, a sleep-sound dial that won’t play any sleep-sounds, and, of course the bed.
“O.C., how do I prop the bed up?”
He looks at you confused.
“Well I thought there we seats in here. I was hoping to stay up for a bit but I know if I lie down I won’t stand a chance.”
“Oh, you ain’t tryin’ sleep?”
You are but you’d rather sit for a little while.
“Well it’s easy puttin’ the bed up. But I’ll be honest,” he says, leaning into the doorframe, “It’s a pain in the ass gettin’ that bed back down.”
You say “Never mind, then,” and then ask where the bar is.
He tells you the on-board bar closed at 11 and you tell him it’s probably for the best. You ask about coffee and he answers apologetically. 0-for-3. He senses your dejection.
“Tell you what, ______: I gotta do my rounds here but I’ll be done in 15, 20 minutes. You get settled in here and I’ll come back around and show you a magic trick.”
“No shit, you know magic?” you say, plopping down on the bed.
“Oh yeah, just a 'lil bit.”
“Well I love magic so that sounds great. You go on your rounds and I’ll be right here waiting.”
“Think you’re gonna like it, _______.”
“See you soon, O.C.”
No sooner does he leave the doorway do you get up and make after him.
“Hey O.C.,” you try to whisper over the rattling train car.
He twists his neck to face you.
“How’d you know my name is ______?”
He chuckles. “Ticket.”
You feign smacking your forehead. Duh. Then you add, “Thought maybe that was part of the magic.”
“Na-na. You just wait, I’ll show you some magic.”
But you were right: you fell asleep as soon as you got horizontal on your cozy nook of a bed. Almost as if you were under a spell and you knew it.
Thanks to the Clubhouse, Vans, Fat Tire, Salomon, and all of you lovely people who believe in the magic of snowboarding.