I found myself lost. Taking the wrong exit off the road and driving into a small town caught in the past. Alone in my car, surrounded. The phone’s signal intimidated by the mountains around me.
The road meandered on, and as I searched for a way back, I found a speed hump. Its small profile sufficed; intercepting the beams of light coming out of my headlamps.
As I approached the speed hump, it’s capacity to intercept my lights diminished. A few inches behind it, a small creature’s hairy back was showered with the light. But there was no head or tail visible, as to possibly indicate an orientation. This small creature must’ve been huddled and asleep.
Taken over by curiosity, I continued my approach to the speed bump, and by extension this small animal. Wary of its location relative to my vehicle, I kept a close eye on it.
Suddenly, its head rose. I could not help but notice, this creature was merely a cat, with a bag of tostitos struck to its head. It lazily moved away from the vehicle.
I stopped abruptly, and lowered my window. I stared at this cat for a solid minute. Thinking about it, how to help it. How to help it breath fresh air again.
A gang of dogs approached, hollering at me. I raised the window and sped off. My soul emptying as quickly as a broken oil pan, thinking about the poor little cat.
But maybe it wasn’t the cat... It was me. Do I have a bag of tostitos blocking my view? The mirror certainly suggests it is not the case. But I do feel fogged; and as if I rest in the middle of a dangerous road. Those around me don’t notice. I only move when there’s immediate danger.
Did the cat did understand the nature of my prolonged presence near it? When I stopped and lowered my window it stayed still, and calm, so much so that I could see the bag expand and contract with it’s breath, and the vapor,escaping randomly across its neck, disperse into the night. Did it seek help from some stranger who saw it? What does that say about me, the stranger, if I didn’t help?
maybe someone is trying to help me, but I can’t tell... I’m so caught on by the dangerous road that the bag of tostitos is not my biggest problem.. I don’t think about it... even when prompted. Maybe that stranger is merely observing me, tumble across a dangerous road with no sense of direction.
Or was it just scared to death because it had a bag of tostitos over it’s head and it couldn’t see?
Soon enough, I emerged right back into the highway; without even having to turn around. Once I found my way out of that strange town, I tried to keep the cat out of my mind... but it was impossible. I visited the intersection the next day. Just to see nothing. no dogs; no cat.
Not even a bag of tostitos.