Torpor

From the story, Road Trip

As in:

“Why didn’t you tell us skiing was so much fun?” Patrick asked Rick, as the two of them, plus Amanda and Elsie in the back seat, headed south down U.S. Highway 65 toward Delta, Colorado.

“For the same reason I didn’t expose you to golf,” Rick answered. “I needed you to help me write. If I’d enabled your skiing addictions, I’d have lost you.”

“I find that a little patronizing,” Patrick said, in mock umbrage. “Don’t you Amanda?”

“You’re such a freaking control freak Rick,” she said, in mock agreement.

“Oh, so now I’m a freaking freak, eh?” he jousted back.

As the road point briefly toward the southwest, Rick flipped the visor down to shield his eyes from the late afternoon sun.

“Today’s the equinox,” he said, changing the subject.

“Time to burn the socks,” Patrick said.

“Say what?” Amanda said.

“My dad used to work on the docks at Annapolis,” he said. “The idea is that on the last day of winter you ditch the socks, you burn them, and go sock-less until next winter. Every equinox they have a burning of the socks festival.”

“Seriously?” Elsie asked.

“Oh, yeah,” Patrick replied.

“Too bad Jake’s not here,” Amanda said. “I’d bet he’d want to camp out tonight and burn his socks along with his beans.”

Rainbow striped toe socks worn with thong sandals
Image via Wikipedia

“Oooh,” Rick cut in. “Be nice to Jake. Poor guy. I miss him already.”

“Man, I’m whipped,” Patrick said, as he wedged a small pillow between the head support and the window frame.

The skiing expedition had exhausted all of them, and they were in a torpor, meandering toward toward Delta and a reservation at the Sundance Best Western.

Rick yawned and took a swig of heavily sugared and creamed coffee from a small thermos. Patrick closed his eyes. Amanda stretched her arms back and rotated her left shoulder, which was stiff from a fall on her next to last run of the day at Powderhorn.

“I think I’m going to have Jake’s baby,” Elsie said, in a tone that would just as easily have conveyed an opinion about whether she preferred butter or margarine on her toast.

The car rolled on for nearly two hundred yards before Rick finally seemed to filter what Elsie had said out of the air.

“Excuse me?” he asked. “What did you just say?”

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