There are two of them, speaking rapidly in Hispanic accents. One is short and chunky, older, at least compared to his compadre. The other is short and skinny and younger. “Yo gotta watch out for those coyotes, you know.” Coyotes? What are they talking about? The male version of a ‘cougar’? “…especially in the morning… they look at you and go, ‘ooh, there is a good hunk of meat’. Ya that is really what they say.” Oh really? The morning, huh? More than in the afternoon or night? Well then… I laugh awkwardly -several times. I didn’t know what else to do. Except for leave; which I do promptly after paying for my two gallon gas can and my two gallons of gas.
My car sits silent, in the middle of South Lake Tahoe, about a mile from the gas station. The gas gauge had read “reserve” for the past several days. I had attempted filling up once, but the pumps weren’t working correctly and after giving up, I claimed ‘tired’ as an excuse and went home, not to return to the filling station until today, out of complete necessity and not at all to my convenience. I had run out of gas; in fact, I had even run out of the fumes that I normally am able to limp into the nearest gas station with. Fail.
But my heart is happy and the day is bright. I can’t help but be thankful (and perhaps a bit smug): I’m thankful that I live up the hill, and was able to coast downhill, shortening the distance to the gas station by at least half. I’m thankful that S. Lake is a small town and easily traversed. I’m thankful I had the foresight to wear my galoshes and not my snow boots or some other sort of shoe as it is raining heavily and puddles and slush were in excess. I’m thankful that nothing pressing was listed on my “to-do” list.
And I’m also thankful that the whole situation happened in the afternoon, and not in the morning when the coyotes happened to be about.