Return

It’s hot where it was once cold. 103 degrees to 28 degrees Fahrenheit. Summer to winter. We drive back to a canyon town in Colorado, on a road that can be described more like a ledge than a path for cars, worn most probably by bighorn sheep through these San Juan Mountains. We’ve driven fifteen miles on this orange dirt road before we make the last mile turn and see a white van pressed against the cliff face, off our road, squashed like a fly on a pane. Closer and I can see it is wedged between rocks. I wonder if the passengers made it out alive. As we near the curve where this van had slipped away, I tell the driver not to look down. The sign up ahead reads: “Caution: Road Narrows” as if it has been wide enough until then for a compact car going in one direction. Narrow enough now for a couple of bicycles, I think.

Some people’s stories stay with me longer than others. A child in Korea sixty years ago used to hide stray kittens behind her pillow. A man and a woman embraced, knee deep in ocean water, after a separation of eighty-two years. One brother lived, the other died in 1985. A friend of mine had the last laugh and a few before that as well.