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Worldwide Ace » Battling the Wizard – Part VII

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Battling the Wizard – Part VII

23 February, 2014 (06:45) | Growing Up

Continued from
Battling the Wizard – Part I – Part II
Part III – Part IV – Part V – Part VI

The following catalogs the turmoil that led
to my sudden move to Nederland at the end of January.
It’s extremely long, though each part is reasonable article length.


I was riding cloud nine.

It was ski season and work was going well. I was doing a good job, having success on the slopes, and enjoying myself immensely. I was teaching and skiing at a high level, I had received compliments from coworkers I hadn’t expected, and the problems at work were starting to fade into the background of a great season.

My personal life was going well too. I had met a couple of women I was interested in, and they were more responsive than I expected. And while I still felt extremely out of practice, I finally felt in a god emotional place to try for a relationship and start working toward my goals of settling down and starting a family, even if that meant a few false starts on the way.

I had just made a trip to Telluride with good friends and had a great time, and Friday promised a good going-away party at Sanitas brewing, a moderate walk from my home. In a few days, I’d be heading to Steamboat with a friend for her birthday, and soon thereafter jobs in New Zealand would be posted and I could being working on the next phase of my life and current career.

The party was a blast. Good friends, good beer, good conversations. Even my friends who were having personal issues seemed in high spirits. I left around ten, slightly tipsy and in need of food. We stopped at the supermarket and grabbed a sandwich on the way home. I ate and drifted into sleep.

I rolled out of bed and started to get ready to shower. I was up, as usual, a little before my 5:30 alarm went off. As I was about to wander into the bathroom, my phone rang.

It was the Birthday Girl. At 5:30. This did not bode well.

The Birthday Girl, with whom I was headed to Steamboat, was in the midst of a divorce. She had worked with me for several years at Eldora and was one of my favorite people to ski with. She has a clever sense of humor and is an excellent skier. Her five year-old daughter rips too, and is precocious and verbal, an excellent combination for me. Over the years, I had caught many a ride with her. I had also turned her down for a ride on a couple of occasions because she had been drinking more heavily than with which I felt comfortable. Thanks to her child and her divorce, her financial situation was not good, and as such I had helped her apply for PSIA ski scholarship. She shopped primarily at the food share, was on multiple types of financial assistance, and seemed constantly to be struggling but getting it done. She had talked about divorce for years, but it seemed the financials that kept her in the marriage.



“What can I do for you?”

“I didn’t wake you did I?”

“Nope. I was up.”

“I’m sorry.”

“What’s up?”

“I’m in the hospital. I broke my collarbone. Can you come get me?”

I was in mild shock. At the party, the Birthday Girl had been so proud that she had biked instead of driven to the party. She recalled a previous Eldora party where she gave a coworker a ride home and realized as she pulled up at his place that she was probably too drunk to be driving. The party this year wouldn’t even offer her the chance to drink and drive because she had biked.

“You do realize you called your one friend who doesn’t have a car,” I said, my mind racing through the options.

“I know.”

“Can you take a cab?”

“They won’t let me. They’re going to throw me in the drunk tank. Can you ask the Wizard to borrow his car?”

No, I said in my mind. He won’t let me. He’ll be pissed I woke him up. He’ll be pissed I messed up his routine.

“I’ll see what I can do. I’ll call you back,” I said.


As I set the phone down and quickly got dressed, I ran through the options in my head.

The Birthday Girl’s daughter is the most important thing in her life. She would do anything for her. She had mentioned the other day that her soon-to-be-ex husband had decided to stop smoking pot, and she was worried that he might use that against her. If she got thrown in the drunk tank, it could affect her custody. It would devastate her. The last thing she needed was more crap in her life, especially if it takes her daughter away.

If my other roommate were home, I could borrow her car guaranteed. I ran to the front door and looked outside. Her car wasn’t there. Her dog began barking at the sound of the door.

I thought about biking over. I could get there, but I couldn’t get her, my bike, and me home, whether by cab or otherwise. Plus it was freezing and I didn’t know where my lock was at the moment.

It would have to be the Wizard.

I walked upstairs and knocked. There was no response. I knocked again.

“What?” he asked, opening his door a crack.

“I’m sorry to wake you. The Birthday Girl broke her collarbone. She’s in the hospital. She needs me to pick her up. Can I borrow your car?”

“Why can’t she take a cab?”

“I don’t know.”

“Do you know what time it is?”


“If you crash my car, you’re paying for damages.”

“I’m not going to crash your car,” I said. “And if I do,” I continued as he began to protest, “I will pay for any damages.”

From the dark crack in his door, his hand extended with the keys.

“This is a huge financial liability for me,” he said.

“I know. Thank you so much.”

I was overwhelmed with gratitude, overwhelmed with guilt and shame for bothering him. And yet, things were happening. He actually let me use his car. It was all I could’ve asked for given the circumstances.

Continued in
Battling the Wizard – Part VIII