Except, it’s not a forest — It’s just a section of the Reed College Canyon, a little oasis in the middle of southeast Portland. She has the day off and it’s not raining, which is an omen, so she takes the dog and her iPhone into the woods. She can’t hear the birdsong over Flo-Rida, but she imagines it’s beautiful. The dog tugs her along the trail, sniffing and chewing the tall grass.
It’s been a few months since she came down here. Then, it was cold and wet in the middle of Winter, but still green. Now, it’s obvious even to her, a city-slicker, that spring has touched this place. Small flowers of purple and white crowd together, moss covers fallen logs, bugs flit around her head and she pretends not to care. Every few steps the light hits the creek and shines in such a way that would look perfect on Instagram.
She wonders what she’ll make for dinner. She wonders how long she should practice to take the NES test to get licensed to teach in Oregon. She wonders what she’s missing on Twitter, then stops walking to sit on a boulder, and pulls out her phone to see. She wonders if they’ll have sex tonight. She’ll need to shower when she gets home, because she’s actually broken a sweat.
The creek burbles as it passes her Brooks, but she can’t hear it over Taylor Swift. She thinks, “When was the last time I stopped, just for a moment to look around me?” She can’t remember, but the sun is hot on her neck and the dog is tugging to move on, so she goes, tucking the phone back into her sweatshirt pocket.