For the past nine years, I've been working on two memoirs. I'm now at the stage where both books are being edited-down. This section is being cut out of my first memoir to make the book shorter and more concise. In this story, I'm about eight years old and my sister is seven. And, hey, if you are a big famous publisher, let me know. This is all true.
Cut from Rich Boy Cries for Mama, a memoir by Ethan H Minsker
“Brother? Don’t stand so close to me,” said Sister. It was the next morning. “If you fall, I will fall.”
I was afraid to move so I didn’t. The instructor was standing behind me. “Now remember, making an “H” with your skis will make you go faster.” I looked for my parents but they had left us there hours before. The sun’s reflection off the snow made everything on the ground blinding. If I closed my eyes, I could still see light blue mixed with the red of the inside of my eyelids. “Making a “V” will slow you down. Let’s try it.” I made my “V’s” and “H’s” and fell a few times. “Brother, look, every time you fall, you leave a blue spot in the snow.” My sweater was a deep blue, and the dye colored the ground
where I landed. The teacher laughed, “Well, at least we will be able to follow you if you get lost”. The blue spot made the snow look like shaved ice. I wondered what it tasted like.
The bunny hill had a rope that yanked us to the top. The first time I held on too long and almost got eaten by the pulley. We made many runs and I felt comfortable with my efforts. The parents collected us and we rode the lift to the top of the beginner’s trail. Sliding off the lift, I fell and they had to stop it so the next group getting off didn’t run me over. I left my blue spot and rolled a bit, trying to make it larger. Sister watched me. She shook her head and I imagined a moon orbiting her that read “Dumb ass Brother” and even if I couldn’t read it, I understood what it meant. Standing at the top of the mountain, I watched the other skiers. Some were moving fast by crouching down and tucking in their poles. Sister went on without me.
She swung from one side of the trail to the other, making a large zigzag, practicing her “H’s” and “V’s”. I can beat her to the bottom. She could read, but I could go faster, I thought. I needed to beat her in something. I turned and made my H as I picked up speed. Sister was making it half way down the mountain. I needed to pick up speed if I was going to beat her to the lift. I crouched down, pulling my poles in tight. I passed Father, who watched me and smiled. I went faster, passing Mother. I was a racer, a bullet, a hawk swooping in on the prey. I could see the lift and was catching up to Sister. Chewing my tongue, I concentrated and made myself into a tight ball to pick up more speed. My tongue hung out the side of my mouth as I noshed it with my teeth. I flew past Sister and I laughed. She didn’t notice, looking down at her skis, working her V and slowing down to a controlled stop. I looked forward, and saw the lift and the wooden pole standing next to it. I blinked and the pole moved closer. I needed to stop but the V wasn’t working fast enough. The pole wasn’t moving away. In fact, it stood in my path. I blinked again just before hitting it. I had wrapped myself around the pole and was knocked out. Sister reached me first and made a stop with her V.
“Am I dead?” I said, but my tongue was mangled from the impact of wood against my jaw and my teeth clamping down on it. I looked up at the sky and Sister looked down on me with her curly hair as her head blocked the sun and the light looked as if it came from her. When the ski patrol carried me off, the snow around the pole was stained blue.
They put a bandage on my head and chin. My tongue was swollen and it felt like a dead fish was stuffed in my mouth. “Brother, you almost bit your tongue off.” Her eyebrows were lifted above her eyes and I could see her moon again. I tried to say something but the words didn’t come together with my tongue being double its natural size. I had almost killed myself, I thought. I try so hard not to die and I almost killed myself. They gave me a white motorcycle helmet to wear the rest of my trip. I liked it and was allowed to wear it to dinner. I pretended I was in the army. I couldn’t speak because of my tongue and when the hostess asked how I was doing, I mumbled “Fine”. She couldn’t understand me.
“Look at the great table we got,” said Father. “It’s packed in here and we had no problem getting it.”
“Of course we got a good table.” said Mother. “Everyone here thinks our son is retarded.”