Through the mists, light pours from a village that always eludes her, no matter how fast she hikes. When she finally arrives in the little Swiss town, she finds a tiny tavern, the only thing still open. It’s a cardboard box filled with boisterous people and vibrant spirits, quaint yet seductive with its craggy furniture and wooden tables scrawled with coarse messages and personalized tally marks. She hesitates at the doorway, now reluctant to enter the place which drew her magnetically from afar.

A vision forms inside her head. In these close quarters, she’ll meet a young man, not dissimilar to her: lost, threadbare, and confused. They will spend a half a dozen almost sleepless nights hopelessly entangled with each other. The highs will be snow-covered and the lows will chew holes in the lining of her stomach. The middle ground will be an ambivalent purgatory where, in the ether between two human beings, their souls never quite converge as their bodies once did.

The end will come softly, on a whisper, as he vanishes into the mist as quickly as she stepped out from it. Only echoes remain of that vague future, filled restless nights and unreciprocated messages.

There’s too much of the familiar, she thinks, too much of her past in this unassuming little pub. Beauty and self-loathing knotted together. Silencing the twang in her muscles, she hastens past the pub. Passing the window, she glances inside, if only for a second, watching herself in another form, dancing on a dark-haired stranger’s every word. She shakes her head, detaching from the revelry, and walks on into the gloom.


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