The Book | Reviews

Chapter Seven

Chamonix, France
March 2005

Morning dawns thin and cold. Light trickles into the valley. Our crew has taken over a 20-meter circle of asphalt in front of the base terminal of the Grands Montets tramway. The terminal is a functional cement structure with a wooden façade and three peaked roofs. I’m off to the side of the group, putting on a climbing harness, checking my avalanche beacon.

In the middle of our piles of camera gear is Kye Petersen, wearing a camouflage one-piece suit with a fur collar and a black helmet. He twists his torso back and forth, bends to touch his toes, stretching his hamstrings. His body is in continuous motion, discharging nervous energy. I am standing next to Kayce. We’re both watching Kye from the periphery. When he takes his helmet off, Kayce gasps.

What happened? she asks. It was such beautiful hair.

Kye’s ponytail is gone, his hair now shorn nearly to the scalp. He’s still pop-star pretty—there’s no losing that—but without the flowing locks, his eyes are hard and intelligent in a way that dares you to disagree with him.

It could grow on me, I say to Kayce.

What neither of us says is how disappointing it is from a filmmaker’s perspective. I had imagined slow dissolves from Trevor’s face to Kye’s, father and son nearly identical. Now, without the ponytail, you have to look harder into Kye to see his father. Maybe that’s the point.

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