We drove up the mountain.  It was more like a pile of boulders rather than one big rising bulk and so it was slow going.  The rocks were dark gray, blue-white, the colors of the overcast sky separated and placed into earthen containers.  My head was starting ache with the altitude.  Finally we reached the top and pulled into a gas station.  The boys got out of the SUV and started horsing around.  They told us to pay for their hostel stay.  They hadn’t brought money, they just expected us to pay.  Maegan was pissed.  I felt like I was expected to pay for everyone and I knew I couldn’t afford it.  Maegan handed me her card and her phone.  “Pay for me only,” she told me.  I gave it back to her.  We would go in and pay for ourselves.  The boys were on their own.
Outside of the station was a jungle gym shaped like a dome.  Hanging on it were pieces of fabric in differing colors and fibers.  i pulled them off and tried them on one by one, using them all as wrap mini-skirts.  They weren’t my style at all, but it was something to do.  Maybe I would keep the cream colored one.  It was longer than the others and had pretty ruffles.  Could this be me? I wondered as I looked down at my long bare legs poking out from pale cotton petals. Each one that I tried on and took off, I pinned to the sky when I was done with it.  The sky had millions of tiny spikes that would grab on to the fabric if you pushed up against it.  Sometimes a corner of fabric would fall and I would just push it back up against the solid wall of clouds, painting my section of sky with rectangles of hot pink, dark purple, midnight blue with silver glitter sparkling. The wind was picking up and it was getting dark.  No one else was around.  I checked my messages.  I had two emails from Buckethead.  The subjects were spammy combinations of words.  Something about “magical” and there was an image of flags on mountains, one that was Germany’s colors but not design. I thought about how to best reply without having actually read The Magic Mountain.  I decided on a quick note just to say that I had arrived.