Flurry Milk It He wrings his hands and stares. Fingers in his sopping spring gloves drain like a cow’s udder.The air is warm and the first of minute buddage is sprouting on the trees. Winter was deep but spring is hereearlier than ever and the snow is all melting. Everywhere it’s mud and wet. Wet. Wet. “You see that lastone?” Leslie calls as he unstraps his board and kicks it aside. It slides a few pitiful feet before friction fromthe mud in the cut-up remains of winter drag it to a stop. “No.” he says, and wrings his hands a bit more, thewater, still squirting. “No, I was checking out those trees. The wind was kinda rolling through them.

They were all swaying … ” Roberto’s voice trails off. He only started two years ago and for someone whorides this much he never fit the “hardcore” mold. Sure, now he looks the part in the ubiquitousuniform-logo-filled hooded sweatshirts and T-shirts. Skate shoes. Baggy pants-not too baggy. Just baggyenough, Roberto knows how to dress. What do you want for free from a rep? “Well thanks a lot, bitch.”Leslie says, and throws his wet glove at his board. “I watch when you go. I spend half my time videoingyou, bitch.” He turns away and starts unzipping layers. Pit zips and side zips. He pulls his beanie off and hishead is steaming. “That’s ’cause you suck,” Roberto says without turning, smirking, “And I rule.” In themiddle of delivering a nasty comeback, Leslie’s face drops. He’s tired from all the booter hiking. All he hadfor breakfast was a half a soggy bagel and a banana, and the coffee he had is now burning a hole in the pit ofhis stomach. Leslie stops and thinks about what Roberto said for quite a while. He feels dizzy. The windpicks up and it’s dry. Smells like change. “Yeah,” he says finally. “Suppose you’re right. You gonna gowatch footey?” “Nah,” Roberto says. He still hasn’t turned. “I’m f-kin’ starvin’, I gotta eat something.””Me too,” Leslie says and zips everything back up. “Me too, I haven’t eaten anything like all day, dude.

I feel like I’m getting, like, low blood pressure or whatever … ” Roberto doesn’t reply. He rubs his handsup under his damp jersey along his stomach and stares. He couldn’t remember it ever getting warm so earlyin the Midwest. It was such a totally kick-ass winter-didn’t start early really, but right at Thanksgiving atleast, and December was epic and January was cold but good here and there. February was super-epic, itseemed like powder every day. Roberto was really going off, too, he could really see progression on thevideos they shot. Well, the ones Leslie shot. They pored over them every night. He was looking so forwardto March and tons of spring riding but now everything just seemed to dry up. Here it was barely end ofMarch and they were already milking the last of it. The very end. Leslie was still babbling aboutsomething-he always had to babble about something, so Roberto turned and spat and went over to grab hisstuff because if he didn’t go first, Leslie would stand there all day, yapping: ” … So the bartender says wedon’t serve duck soup here in the bar but would you care for some cheese and quackers? Hey, did youstep on a duck? What is that? Hey, did you hear me, that was a joke. That was funny shit.” Robertodoesn’t smile but says, “With your baby face you’ll be getting kicked out of bars even when you get ID,Leslie.

This is beat, c’mon, let’s bolt. We’ll watch the video at my house. I think there’s some of mygrandma’s tamales in the freezer.” “Those are rad!” Leslie says, then hoots and does a little boneless andgathers his backpack. Then he starts babbling again-Roberto couldn’t stand Leslie half the time but he wasthe only one who would ride like him. He couldn’t keep up half the time so Roberto would lap him or wait atthe bottom. But he was the one who would video, and Roberto was totally worth watching. They’d work allsummer at the grocery store again, leafing through all the magazines on breaks and talking about tricks. Thenthere’d bee one more year of school, but Roberto made sure his grades were good so next summer he couldmove to Mt. Hood-no questions. No Leslie. He was still babbling, clear to his mom’s car. Roberto rubs hisstomach. His gloves were still soaked. He was hungry, too. He was.

-Billy Miller