Ten years ago today, this hippie skied wildly through an inch and a half of snow down his slightly sloped front yard on a wintry March day in Atlanta and landed his run — for better or for worse — smack in the middle of my life.
In like a lion, as they say. He was wearing a T-shirt and pajama pants with his ski boots and spent the day talking at everyone about Phish, a band I hated, while they played noodly nonsense on an obscenely large TV in the background. I shivered in the frigid temperatures, grumbling about the cold, annoyed by the never-ending incomprehensibleness of hippies — both the people and their music. When will it be warm again, I lamented. And what’s wrong with a nice, tight three-minute rock tune, I asked myself. (I am a lot of fun at parties.)
But I don’t know, I guess snow is pretty if you look at it in the right light; and maybe there is something kind of magical about a group of musicians so talented they can compose an entirely original musical experience on the fly; and this particular hippie — with his edgy New Yorker bluntness and his impossibly perfect hair — wasn’t the worst, I supposed. So, 10 years, two kids, a house, a dog, no small amount of heartache, endless joy, countless ski trips and 30 Phish shows later, here we are.
Also, it’s 50° and sunny in Portland today, so I guess we did something right.