Vape Vape Everything Is Fine (addiction)
He’d just blown our day trip. Frustrated by the line for rental skis, he could not stand for waiting in line, and just like that our two-hour trek to the mountain for the best snow of the year was over. We were walking back down to the parking lot.
So, we’re not talking much. I’m pissed, but I don’t like telling people I’m pissed, so I got quiet. And even his small talk is starting to piss me off. I walk on ahead, towards the downhill intersection where we’re going to hitch a ride back to Santa Fe. And he didn’t want to walk with me. “I’ll be able to ask everyone from up here,” he said. He was wrong.
I walked down to the bottom of the parking lot, where the back lot meets the top lot. I chatted with the young man who was directing the late-arriving traffic to the mountain. I tried texting my vaping buddy, as I watched 10 cars go by. I couldn’t ask them for a ride down. I couldn’t leave my friend.
As we got in the truck that stopped and invited us in, he told the story of how we didn’t go skiing. “Just too many people,” he said. And then three more times over the next hour, people seeing us in our ski gear would ask, “How was the skiing.” And he would start on his sad tale of the busy mountain, being out of skis for rental. Or being too busy. I just wanted him to shut up about it. It was like he was rubbing my nose in the not-skiing-today because he was too impatient to wait. I asked him to quit telling the story. “It’s like reliving the trauma all over again, every time you tell the story.”
As we toodled around in his car to get skis for tomorrow and find lunch, he was constantly puffing on his vape. Vape vape. Silence. There was nothing to say, really. I was being a baby. He was numbing whatever he was feeling with a sickly sweet hissing inhale followed by silent clouds of vapor.
“We’ll go tomorrow,” I said. “Probably the snow was too good today. We need them to tamp it down for us.” I didn’t want to tell him tomorrow, Saturday, was going to be a zoo on the mountain. But heck, we’ll get there early. And, we’ve already got our rental skis.
Vape vape everything is fine.
Read more Short-Short Stories from John.