Pushcart Prize Nomination: Alexander Weinstein
Congratulations to our first fiction nomination for this year’s Pushcart Prize: Alexander Weinstein for “Fall Line.” Read the excerpt below, then purchase a subscription to Pleiades here.
I’m filling ice when Sunny radios that Desolation Pass is officially closed for the season. The top half is skiable, but after that it’s all patches of grass and rocks. “I’ll tell them to bring an inner tube,” I radio back, and Sunny says in his Cali drawl, “Riiiiight.” Ever since the Big Thaw, anyone wanting diamonds needs to buy a ticket to Dubai and shred indoor slopes. For the past three years, all we’ve had is slush and mud patches that catch your edge and leave you soaked and miserable by the end of the day. Even the hard-core skiers don’t bother going out more than once or twice a season. There will be flurries, the temp drops to thirty, and you get that phantom itch to grind bumps. Then you take the first run, mash through freezing crud, skid on a patch of ice, and realize why you don’t ski anymore.
The lodge is quiet, chairs still on the tables, just a group of old-timers changing into their boots—diehards who’ve been coming since the turn of the millennium, back when you could still catch knee-deep powder and the bar was standing room only after the lifts closed. They’re all in their seventies and I wonder why they bother. The slopes are hell on the knees, but still they boot up and hit the runs for their weeklong vacation.
“Think we’re going to see some powder?” one of them asks.
“Sure, right over there,” I say, and motion to the flat-screen, where we’re playing old X-Sports clips. Bonnie Hale is doing a 360 off a Kilimanjaro peak.
“Have faith,” another of the guys says, and they lower their goggles and go trudging out.
—Read more in issue 37.1