surety

There's a ski lodge, but the mountains it's set amongst aren't steep or Alpine. They're wide, gently rolling hills, not suited for skiing at all. And there isn't snow, anyway. It's spring, and the grass is a tender, tentative yellow-green. Cold, sunny, nothing else around. Except the roller coaster.

That's the only way to get there - a roller coaster ride. But it isn't violent dips and loops. The track curves up the mountain with an almost imperceptible slope. What's most remarkable about the ride is how powerful it is. The track is pristine and modern, with two huge steel coils that guide the passenger cart. The whole thing vibrates with a deep electronic surety as it moves (which it does quickly, but not frighteningly so). I feel thrilled to be on it, but safe. I know there is no danger.

There are others with me. Some familiar faces, some strange. A boy I know, maybe once loved... I don't remember who. That's the first part of the dream to slip from my grasp upon waking.

I feel comfortable, and excited about the ride.

We sit side by side, several people across, in the cart. The humming of machinery underneath and around us makes my heart race. And as we take off, the whoosh of air on my face feels like the start of great story.

At the top, we disembark and enter the lodge. We poke around in small groups, or alone. Everything is white and clean and spare. Bordering on sterile. It's pretty up here, but I'm not sure I want to stay. I'm just glad to be experiencing it. Glad to be part of the adventure.

Glad to not have missed out on the ride.