Thursday, October 13, 2016
Glowing fall, with piercing color all around us, and that rare, unspoken-for day with no responsibilities, no one counting on us for anything. Bright leaves littered the highway, and we swung the car north onto old Route 9W, going wherever the road would take us.
We were best friends, two middle-aged ladies who knew each others' lives as we knew our own.
The sign said “Bear Mountain," and we followed it. At the end of the road we parked the car, scuffing through curled leaves to the café to treat ourselves to something wicked and forbidden – a giant bag of potato chips, salty and greasy, and some chewy, nutty chocolate bars.
Outside were wooden benches made of trees, and we chose one of them, and sat there crunching our chips and laughing and eating, warm sun and dazzling color, and the two of us where nobody could find us, doing what we shouldn’t be doing.
We sat there as long as we could, till the sun slid behind clouds and it got cold, and then we got back in the car and drove home.
It’s a small memory, one day out of many days melting back into the flow of years.
Still, if I had to name one single perfect day, it would be that afternoon at Bear Mountain.