Following breakfast, we headed to the ski rental station, where I got geared up for my first time on the hill, nearly taking out passerby by with my skis as I headed out of the station. I had a lot to learn. The moment I painfully slipped into my ski boots, I wondered if this was all some sort of cosmic mistake … or joke. I had no more business skiing than I did, say, Formula One driving. Yet, here I was, in the driver’s seat of my skis.
Once I was hoisted into my skis, I looked like a toddler attempting to take its first steps … only, this toddler was blind. And had one leg. Or perhaps, no feet at all. With the help of Adriana and Melody, I eventually got the hang of it, but my ankles hurt like hell. My struggle to simply walk in my skis did little to boost my confidence as to how I would do on a slope.
The girls guided me toward the bunny hill, arms flanking me on both sides like a scene out of The Green Mile. But instead of a large, magical black man with healing powers, it was, well, me: dorky, scrawny white guy on his way to a self-imposed execution.
When we reached the bunny hill, I turned even whiter … with fear.
“It’s bigger than I thought.”
“That’s what she said!,” blurted out Melody. Adriana rolled her eyes.
“Are you serious? It’s a bunny hill! Even two-year-olds can handle this”,” Adriana exclaimed as though I just told her to go fuck herself.
“What were you expecting?, Melody chimed in. “Gopher mounds?”
I decided to save face.
“I can handle it,” I said, with all the bravado I could muster (which was miniscule). “It’s just that I pictured it a little smaller.”
“It’s practically inverted!, Adriana said, rubbing it in even further.
As they continued pushing me toward impending doom, Andrei and his harem walked by, snowboards in hand.
Andrei winked at Adriana and Melody, before looking at me with a smug grin: “Your friend. He like new born baby.”
I pretended that I didn’t hear him, as Adriana and Melody laughed. Sensing that my feelings were hurt, Melody stopped, but Adriana kept snickering at me as Andrei and his lady comrades walked way, presumably en route to a much more glorious hill. For some reason, I envisioned each one of the Russian babes sitting on one of Andrei’s shoulders as he skied down the hill.
“Can I just go sledding instead?,” I asked, completely serious.
“Absolutely not,” Adriana said. Melody simply rolled her eyes. “We’re going to teach you all you need to know. And by the time the day is through, you will be a skier.”
Adriana and Melody proceeded to indeed teach me everything I needed to know. As it turned out, they had both surpassed my beginning skill level by the time they were three.