I was on my Sunday afternoon hike, heading up the Douglas Spring trail in Tucson’s Rincon Mountains. You know, I start humming after being in nature for a few minutes.
Two fleet-footed boys of 7 or 8 appear behind me.
One of the so darn-cute little guys asks the other: “Aren’t you sad cause his sister died when she got bit on the arm by the zombie? Wasn’t that sad?”
Their moms are huffing and puffing up the trail. My motherly heart cozies up to all four. I like that they’re in this together. I hum some more.
A few miles later, I’m heading back down the trail to my car. Almost there, I’m thinking about going home to make a breakfast frittata. I come upon an odd sight.
A young blonde woman, maybe in her 20s, lying face down in the desert a little way off the path.
A man pacing on the path (her father, husband, brother, friend?) begging, “Won’t you let me help you? I want to help.”
My motherly self gloms on for a second, Can I help?
Not my business, I’ve learned to answer.
Back at my car, the man has also returned to his car, across the road from mine.
“Maybe she’ll come back to your house,” he says. “She’s so irrational. I’ll go back and try again.” I want to hear more of his phone conversation but I can’t.
Meanwhile, I walk to the end of the road to snap photos. When I get back to my car there she is, the blonde. Seated in a yoga position, reading a book on the hood of the man’s white car (wearing dark sunglasses, of course).
He had gone to find her. How did they not cross paths coming back down the trail? There’s a short story here. But I’m not the one to write it. Or am I?