Sunday, September 18, 2011

Pasts and Predators

While the kids were in Religious School this morning, I took a walk. One of my walking partners is no longer at the synagogue on Sunday mornings; my other was tied up in all-morning meetings with various committees. I needed to move, so I gave my kisses to my friend and excuses to those trying to get me to join their meetings, and headed out.

A coffee and breakfast burrito later, I made a right turn off a main street onto a road I didn't think I'd ever been on before...until I saw the Gymboree sign, and that sign's neighbors, and realized, holy shit. I hadn't thought about this place for about a dozen years. We didn't go sososo often, and I can't even remember who we went with. But we did go for a while, Em and I, sometimes Em and her nanny, A, and Baroy even, a couple of times. When she was an infant, maybe toddler, no more, because by the time she was 'more,' I had another full-time job, and whatever various Mommy and Me programs we'd been doing were impossibilities.

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.

Now, a better writer or deeper thinker than I could probably link those two events right now, with the coyotes symbolizing...what? If I knew, I'd make the link, and wrap this post up in a pretty little significant bow. Instead, I'll leave you with this: Now that I'm home, unsnackedupon, I keep thinking that I should have grabbed an Instagram shot of those hungry, mangy-looking beasts instead of a boring old strip mall. A real artist would have.


Green said...

That "real artist" might be dead.

kris said...

i don't think coyotes eat people much...or attack people much unless they are rabid... but better safe than sorry for sure.

TC said...

kris, i think you're right...but I still didn't think walking down the sidewalk right past them was necessarily the best choice to make. (I kept thinking about the time we found various rabbit body parts in our backyard after a coyote attack on our pet bunnies:

Leanne said...

I think you did the right thing. And now that you mention it I think there was a Gymboree in my past too - but we've moved countries twice since then. I wonder what happened to it?