It was odd, standing in my present and looking into my only dimly remembered past. It was odder still because this is a neighborhood I know almost as well as my own, now, six years into our membership at this synagogue, six years into Sunday-morning walks up and down its streets, six years into driving these streets to spend time with our chaverim from shul. And yet I'd never made this turn, onto this street, which in my mind was way south from my present location, a strip mall in the past, not the for-rent sign of today. I stood there for a long time, trying to remember, feeling a little rueful about what the passage of time has done to my ability to recall more than gut emotions, no real faces or names.
Eventually, I moved on, heading up the hill. A garage sale, a for-sale sign, a dead-end street (and that was one long uphill for no good reason, damn it). And then a left turn onto another street, looking down at my iPhone as I checked to be sure my photo of the Gymboree had posted. And looking up just in time, to see threemaybefour coyotes sitting in a perfectly spaced row, as they turned toward me and stared.
I made eye contact, then thought, "Um, no. Not a good idea." And I turned, heading down the hill away from them, quickly, quickly, looking back only to check to be sure they hadn't decided to see where I was going. Because while one coyote would be unlikely to be capable of really taking me down, three? That could have been ugly, is what I'm saying.