Saturday, March 19, 2022
I awoke at Orvis Hot Springs in Ridgeway, CO. I slept in my car in the camping area. It was my friend‘s birthday. A crew of us stayed overnight and we were well on our way of forging a tradition in Tub 2. The temperature dropped to 25 that night. My windows frosted - inside and out.
Unfortunately, I slept cold. I only had my forest-green 22 degree Mountain Hardware Lamina Z sleeping bag and bright orange Thermalite Reactor sleeping bag liner, some vampire socks, my Volcom jeans, and a Comfy (the wearable blanket ((As Seen on TV)) from my aunt.
All my other bags (my bright orange and red down -20 Thermarest Polar Ranger and my black and like green 0 off-brand synthetic) suffered the fate that gear often suffers when we loan it out to well-intentioned friends: busted. However, I survived, and those pools of 105-110 degree water were calling my chilly bones. But that would have to wait. I had a live interview over the phone in 30 minutes. I had 2 bars of signal and my phone had 15% battery.
I tried scraping the ice from the inside, but the glass is concave. No good. I tried wiping it with a towel. Useless. I was parked directly next to my friends who were still sleeping. I would have to move somewhere with better signal where I could run the defrost and charge my phone. No time for coffee - the main building wouldn’t be open until I was already on the call. Still too cold to brave the elements for a smoke. I’ve become a house cat since my field guiding days.
I started my car, rolled down the window, and hung my head out to see (somewhat) where I was going. I found a nearby lot with a tow camper, some trucks, and an ambulance with the hood popped. I wiped the liquified ice from my dash as it dripped, listening to some EDM while I waited (Okay by Shiba San, some Claude Von Stroke, and some Toots & Maytals…not EDM).
I checked my email to get the phone number and plugged it so it would be ready in my recent calls. Checked my Instagram and Facebook to make sure the posts published, advertising the live interview. Scrolled through my news feeds. Opened Tinder and Hinge - closed them. More dash wiping. Slugged some water from my beaten orange nalgene wrapped in macramé. The little plastic piece connecting the lid to the neck was broken. The sun finally peaked over the eastern mountains, spilling over the valley and lighting the western slope in my—mostly—defrosted windshield. Nice. Wipe dash. Nice.
3 minutes ‘til. Time to call in. Denise’s voice came through, mid-sentence. An older black woman, talking about her published books and a little history of the podcast; 16 years running. I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect because our correspondence was minimal up to this point. No prep questions or bio requested. No outline of what the interview would be like. No morning confirmation. I just received and email 4 days prior, confirming my slot for an author interview with Off The Shelf on Blog Talk Radio. I had no memory of applying for one, but I’ll take it. Thanks, past-Constantine.
Listening to her for the first 5 minutes, I wasn’t sure if this interview was going to happen. She started on introducing an author and life coach, a book, Collateral Intentions. Okay, that’s me. “Unmute,” an recorded male voice tells me over the phone. “Constantine, welcome to the show! How are you doing today?” Nice.
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