three semi-inflated RIVER RAT inner tubes hung over the edge of the railing at the south tahoe thrift store i re-found after telling my friends i'd meet them back in sacramento. a handwritten sign on the door implored me to support local charities and warned that non-customers who wanted to use the bathroom would be charged a quarter. i piled three cotton-ish aloha shirts on the counter and asked the woman behind it if her weekend was going well so far.

"i was ready for it," she said. "the doctors finally figured out what was wrong with my foot, and what they could do about it." i thought that was wonderful. "yes, but i was wearing this" (she heaved an orthopedic boot a few feet in the air) "when i woke up to a bear in my kitchen last night. my three chihuahuas—the littlest is four pounds, it's a mother and a daddy and their baby—wanted to go for him, and i didn't know what to do. turns out their noise was enough to scare him away once he'd finished all of my chocolate-covered pretzels, and he went back out the window he broke—after grabbing a bunch of ritz crackers."

i told her i'd been hoping to see a bear all weekend—i wish i'd known. "i called the police and they showed up with a big shotgun, but they told me that it was full of rubber bullets and i shouldn't worry. 'he'll be back, though,' they said. 'he knows you have the good stuff.' are you from around here, honey?" once, i said, but i came from new york city to captain a relay race up in truckee. i was ready for a weekend, too.

"my husband and i went out to syracuse once and i almost had a panic attack. i hear that...you don't have cars." it's true, i said, i spend weeks on foot.

1 comment:

LPC said...

Looking forward to a weekend on foot, high up, in some year to come. xoxox. No bears though, please, if you can do without.