A Cold Summer Morning

Union Square was black with new snow, heralding a dismayingly cold summer. Raccoons, rats, dogs, and a cougar had set off the alarms during the night. I checked when each went off, not anxious, worried, or nervous, but wary, and I think, intelligent and proactive. The systems all worked; none of those creatures approached my vehicle. Except for those breaks, I slept soundly, accumulating five hours and forty-six minutes of rest. It would be enough. I’d nap once I returned to my place.

Coffee always helps, so I was gulping down fresh unadulterated French Roast. “Good coffee,” I said, nodding.

I’d already been out for four days, and was ready to return to my place. This was just a ‘let’s-see’ jaunt. My day was planned with broad strokes of where I’d go first, and then, et cetera, but looking at the windows and monitors in the cab preparatory to scavenging, I saw movement.

“What’s that?” I asked. “Could be a human,” I answered.  “Could be,” I agreed.

Walking the path of questions and accumulating details, I targeted the motion and zoomed in, confirming, it was a man. Four hundred yards away, he was beyond my perimeter alarms, so nothing had been set off. Snow didn’t cover him, and his path through the black sheet was clear. No animals had approached him, either. He was lucky.

“How lucky?” I asked, checking the temperature. Thirty-two, with the sun out. Systems noted that the overnight low had been thirty. “Pretty lucky.”

“Pretty lucky that I saw him,” I agreed.

Wasn’t he?


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