Sept/Oct 2021 • Vol. XLIII No. 5 FictionSeptember 9, 2021 |

Chamonix

No one drinks liquor in this tourist town. We’re walled in by mountains, the town itself like the grit at the bottom of a cup. But you can tell people here don’t see it like that. They see ski trails and charming hotels, chairlifts strung on the mountain like Christmas lights. They see fondue restaurants with table-side heating lamps, boutiques selling watches intended for Arctic explorers. They buy postcards and delight in ordering in French. No one wears normal clothes either; it’s all neon water-resistant quick-dry high-performance self-inflating neck pillows that zip out from the hood. I believe I may be the only person here with a brain. And even then, I lost something on the way, half my hippocampus bobbing at high altitudes. The neurons take a plunge in a place like this — maybe that’s why they’re all trying to jolt themselves with extreme sports. My third day in France and Tobias from Munich is doing squats in the sitting room next to the little teacups, the

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By Bess Winter

No one drinks liquor in this tourist town. We’re walled in by mountains, the town itself like the grit at the bottom of a cup. But you can tell people […]

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