A friend and I were packing for a trip, but only the bedding, which I noticed was orangish, had fringe, and was torn, like something from the 1960s. Then I saw there was a travel trailer involved, and I pulled it to the middle of the field. It was easy to tow with just one hand. After a little internal debate, I turned it so it was facing the woods.
I wanted to walk through the woods, along the shady, then sunny path that was so much part of my old haunt, but as I got closer I saw that the woods were gone. It was all houses, crowded in on each other. Nary a tree in sight. It felt claustrophobic and heartbreaking. I couldn’t figure out how it had been done; it was a small woods between two houses, and now it was just houses. Had there really been enough room? I walked down a hill trying to find what was lost. Then I noticed huge manlike bats in the air; they began to follow me. They were artificial and nothing like real bats. I was not afraid; maybe it was a movie promotion, a voice suggested. There were more and more. And somehow something told me the nearest woods were eight days away — by foot or by vehicle, I don’t know. It made me unutterably sad. Crowded, artificial, and bereft of nature. The world.