Summer of 2015, I was in Madrid and needing to escape the heat. I didn't want Malaga or San Sebastián or some other sweaty beach. I more or less decided on Chamonix at random, wanting only to get to the mountains and out of the city. And apparently out of Spain. I booked a flight to Geneva and touched down in the middle of the night. I was driven by an expat from England who had relocated to France with his wife and two kids. I only remember the road was long and wide and dark and windy, and that the conversation was good. It was midnight when we reached Les Houches, a small town outside Chamonix. From there, I would hitchhike the following days. I was greeted with a strange liquor from the Czech Republic, then fell into a deep sleep. It wasn't until the following morning that I realized where I was. Standing on the balcony of my little room, I gazed up at the French Alps. So white and pretty. My heart leapt like St. John the Baptist. I felt like Hesse, and for two weeks rambled about like Mary Shelley's Frankenstein in dense green forests with wildflowers in the shadow of Mont Blanc.