Had a bit of a tense scene last night as I stumbled up to my campsite in the Berkeley hills. The woods were pitch dark — some nights you can actually see fairly well when the moon and stars are out, but this was one of those nights where you couldn’t see the hand in front of your face. Which added a spooky vibe to the situation.
I dumped out my blankets onto the ground with a loud thud. Followed by a voice coming from the darkness saying “Hello?”
At least that’s what I THOUGHT I heard. Sometimes your mind can play tricks on you in the deep dark woods. Every little sound can inspire waves of paranoia.
So I waited 5 minutes, sitting there quietly. And then I made another thudding sound. “Hello?” came the voice again. Yep. There was definitely somebody lurking out there somewhere in the darkness. Wonderful.
So I waited another 5 minutes. Then I hurled one of the cat food dishes down the hill like a frisbee. It made loud clunking noises as it bounced down the hill. “HELLO??” said the voice again, and this time with more urgency.
From the direction the sound was coming from I could tell pretty much exactly where they were. There are only a couple of spots in the entire area where I camp, after all, where the ground was level enough to set up a little campsite. And they were far enough away from me — and with enough thick brush and trees between them and me — that it would be very difficult to get to me, and they would make enough noise to wake me up if they tried to sneak up on me when I was sleeping (if they could even find me in the darkness). Which is all I really cared about. There had been a rock concert at the Greek Theater last night so I just figured they were a couple a youngsters who decided to continue the party through the night and then drive home in the morning
So I fed my goddamn feral cats (who had been perplexed as to why I had been sitting there in the darkness for 15 minutes completely frozen and not making a sound). And then rolled over and went peacefully to sleep.
But that’s just how I am. I always want to make sure I got all the angles covered before I relax. . . It’s probably why I made it to 61.