I am standing in a line to get on a ski lift. The line is long, crowded and pushy. I have a lot of bags. One full of school books, plus in my fist are a bunch of coins. I clench the coins in my hand so hard it hurts. I finally get to the front of the line and try to get on the lift, but it is going too fast. I can't seem to race out there and get in place to be picked up by a chair in time. The chairs are very small. I finally get the attention of the guy standing there and ask "Do you work here?" He is snotty and resentful and has not been talking to anyone. He certainly hasn't been doing his job, which is to let everybody know what is going on and what to do next. When he finally talks to me he is rude. I am holding up the line trying to hear what he has to say, people are pushing at me from the side as I face him. I don't remember exactly what he said, but it becomes apparent that the line I am in goes to this other lift over there, and I am to stand in line some more. I get in the other line, it is even bigger and longer. Finally I get to the front. It looks like myself and another lady are going to get the chair which seats three, but then another lady with even more bags than I have jumps out there ahead of us, from the side, and takes an edge seat. We join her in the chair, me with my bags and fist full of coins.
Blip. I don't remember getting to the top, but suddenly I am on the chair lift headed back down. The two seats next to me are empty. I missed it. The top, the unloading, the view. I was off in my head somewhere. I see the bottom end lift station coming into view. I still have the coins in my fist. I empty them into the front pocket of my purse, shaking out my hand. I think hard about my options. I could stay on the chair and go to the top again. I could ride right around the end of the lift and still go skiing. Except, I now realize, I don't have any skis. I didn't bring them. I have school books but no skis. So I decide to get off the lift and study.
I am walking across the parking lot and find a brown leather purse and the front cover of a book. The book cover is somehow meaningful. I saw the purse earlier. A black lady was carrying it and wearing gray tights and looking fast. I spot a group of black people sitting at a picnic table and ask them if they know the lady who owns the purse. I also have a paper bag that I think I found with the purse. I look inside it and it contains some food and a strip of six condoms. They ask some question about the purse and I make some joke of an answer and flash the condoms at them. Then I feel guilty about sharing the fast black lady's secrets with a bunch of strangers.