The water.  The ski.  The boat.  The water.  The ski.   The boat.  There is nothing else.  Let the boat pull you out of the water and when you think you can’t hang on anymore, hang on just another few seconds.  Then strrrrrretch out.  And there is nothing in the world like the feeling of sliding across the surface of the smooth water, leaned back, butt in, gripping the rope with your left palm facing up and your right palm facing down.  Pull your bathing suit out of your ass so you don’t unintentionally moon anyone, then start cutting back and forth across the wake.   Lean back and pull to the right, back and forth across the slight wake, making those turns quick, keeping the ski on edge, all the way through/across the wake.  And when your arms and hands and legs are screaming—maybe your arms and hands a little louder that your legs, well, adjust your grip, switch the weight on your legs a little for just a second, then start cutting again.  Then, when your body is about to give out (though your mind says MORE!  MORE!), then draw your gloved finger across your throat in the “cut” signal.  This lets the driver and/or observer know you are done (for now).  When the driver (Ron in this case) sees this signal, he quickly turns the boat at which point you drop the rope (I actually throw it off to the right, in the opposite direction I am going in), glide to a stop, where you sink into the water.  Ron comes to pick you up, you take off the ski, lay it on the swimming platform, then pull your weak, exhausted Jell-O arms and legs body onto the boat.  Grab a towel, crack open a beer no matter what time of the day, and chat for a while.  After a few minutes, pull Ron skiing (on one, of course).  And occasionally look up at the sky and thank God for the water, the sky, the company, and the opportunity to ski, and of course, smile a lot.

September 23, 1998

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