The bear was a black bear and it was dead. Probably hit by a car. The body rolled a little way off the road and down into the woods. My friend and I were walking our dogs, and I stopped to take a picture of the bear, but then I said, Wait, what if it's not dead?
My friend laughed. If it's not dead, we run.
Later, we all went on a hike. There was snow on the ground and the trail went straight uphill. We were all wearing sneakers and it was slow-going. Why are we doing this? I kept thinking. But then we reached the top and I understood. The view. I don't know how to describe it. I took a picture.
This was New Year's Eve. Every year for the past twenty-four years my family has met up with the same good friends to celebrate, except for 2020, when we met up over zoom. This year my husband and I almost cancelled. He was getting over being sick. I was afraid I'd catch what he had.
But he felt better and I was okay and off we went. On the drive we talked about our health and how when you have good health, you don't think about your health. But when you have bad health, it's hard to think about anything else. It makes you wonder about time and how you want to spend it.
After the hike we browsed around thrift stores and I kept looking at pillows. I don't know why. The cushiness. The color. There was an orangey one I kept going back to and finally my husband said, just buy it. So we did. We were using cash. Long story, but we had some, and I said, let's play a game where we can't use our credit cards for anything until the cash is gone.
This meant going into gas stations to pay for gas, something I have no memory of ever doing in my life, and I had to ask the clerk how it worked. She said, you tell me how much gas you want and you pay me.
But how did I know how much gas I wanted? A tank? How much is a tank? I know she thought I was a weirdo. Also, one week into this new only-cash lifestyle, and I think our credit card company is probably worried about us. Have we been kidnapped? Are we okay?
We are doing great!
On the drive back, I am a pro with the gas. Let's mix things up, I tell my husband. Do other things differently. Just for funsies. We go grocery shopping when we get home and walk the store in the opposite direction we usually shop, ending up at the fruit and vegetables. We buy two artichokes because we have never bought fresh artichokes before. We buy something called a Pomelo because we don't know what it is and it is large and round and green and why not?
Turns out it tastes like grapefruit. I take a picture of it.