The distances got shorter and everything got smaller the longer I walked. It was like I was on a movie set that only looks real if you stand in the right spot, and when you walk around you discover that everything is a size that doesn't match.
Slot canyons give me the willies. Their plots are like thrillers, where you never know what’s around the next bend, but you know it's something that doesn’t belong to the real world. Mom loves slot canyons for all the reasons I hate them, because they are filled with surprises and she needs to find clever, swashbuckling ways out of danger.
She was hanging with only her toes on the ground and her brand new Ross Dress for Less jacket caught on the fence post. I looked at her dangling feet and her swimming arms. “I’m not with her,” I said.
We turned around, and suddenly I realized that we had been wandering aimlessly for miles through a maze of rocks that had blindfolded Mom's sense of direction and spun her around like it was her turn at the piñata.
“You see,” Mom said. “The trick to not getting stuck is to just keep moving. Eventually you’ll find solid ground again. It's a metaphor. You should put that in your blog.”
"This dingleberry is going down!" Mom growled, speeding up like we were racing a light at a crosswalk. Then she veered up the little slope of wild dirt that protected us from the Momposter's boogeybreath. I followed close behind her as we cut onto the trail just a leash-length in front of the Momposter.
I wanted to introduce myself to the horses, but Mom kept her body in the way no matter how fast I ran. I ran faster, and she ran faster, so I ran faster still and she ran faster still.
Looking at it from up here I could see that most of My Hometown was really wild. The houses and stores of my life weren't in the center of anything, but only slotted into the cracks and flat places between the mountains and the ocean.
Back when there were people here, runners used to come from all over The City every morning to the I'mbarkadero to run an adventure race that had no official starting line and no official finish.