I got up as the moon was going down, and back along the icy trails of Cougar Mountain we went, my dog Ginger and I. After I peed she peed in the same spot, like we were playing some game or being followed, though we were the only ones in the parking lot.
We swung out west down the Quarry Trail, dropping into a valley that was dark and cold with the morning birds singing; I lifted the flaps on my hat so I could hear them better.
And on, past the cave holes where they warned of fatal gases or ground collapse (they’d mined and logged the mountain a hundred years ago), and thought about my dad’s basement: the time I went out to see him because his dad had just died and I slept down there, and dad was more animated than normal talking about the Radon in their basement they got rid of (it was at dangerous levels), but there was nothing to worry about sleeping down there now, though I found some dead bugs along the edges that looked to have died a hard death, they were tough looking, and still had their armor on.
And then I bought a new phone and deleted all my old contacts like weeds: I went record shopping and lost track of time, and walked right into a scene from the film High Fidelity with the clerks bickering about something, with such passion they complained, and it seemed there were a dozen of them all working, filing, sitting around, reciting intricate details of the loyalty program and how it works: and I spent fifty dollars but only came out with three albums, and one of them was in the dollar bin.
The next morning I went back to the lake to see if it was still making sounds from the ice, took pictures of the moon with my new phone: it wore a halo like a floppy sun hat, like it was trying to compete with its big sister, the color of it peach-pink.