Did anyone else notice that La Luna Bella, in one of her more dramatic full cycles, caused a little more mayhem than usual a few weeks ago? She watched us mere humans from high above, stumbling like fools over the daily hiccups of life, while she silently waned and smiled into the night sky.
An incongruous event happened to me while the lady of the night was in full bloom. It literally came out of nowhere and put me on high alert. Here's what happened...
I was driving toward the last small curve on the road to work when I noticed something pink racing out of the darkness toward my small car. Upon further evaluation, I saw that it was a nose, attached to an enormous black bear. This bruin was hurtling through the orchard much faster than the 25 miles an hour I was driving.
I slammed on the brakes and stalled my car. Every cell in my body was screaming two words. Shit, and No! (That's me on full alert mode.) My car bounced from side to side, and the tragic noise of hitting an animal shuddered through the early morning quietness. My co-passenger, who had retrieved himself from the floor, looked at me in a daze and asked, "What the hell just happened?"
"An enormous bear charged out of the orchard and ran into my car. But I can't see it -- it's vanished," I answered, while searching the area from the safety of metal.
"I really need to pee," was the best answer my pal could come up with.
Whether it was from the caliber of his conversation or the fact that I needed to know if the bear was dead or alive, I did possibly the most stupid thing I've ever done in my life. I opened my door and got out of the car.
It was eerily still. Cautiously, I crept around to the rear of my car and peeked toward the passenger side doors, expecting to see blood and guts smattered on the road. But there was nothing. Like a rocket, I jumped back into my vehicle.
"Can we go now? It smells weird around here -- kind of scary too. And I need to pee really badly now." I looked across at my big, browned-eyed, canine pal and gave him a hug.
"There's a bear around here with one hell of a headache!"
We drove on up the hill just as the light was beginning to grace the Earth. It was then that my adrenaline kicked in and I realized that I too, needed to pee. We found my boss and his beloved four-legged friend returning from their ritual morning walk. After I'd explained in full detail what had just transpired, his first words were, "You got out of the car?"
I nodded like a scolded schoolgirl and expressed that in retrospect I'd made a very bad choice of action. He looked at my car and remarked that it seemed the bear made it through the ordeal better than my car, and that it may well have been the 400-pound bear that calls this place home.
I called my husband and relayed the story. There was silence, then he said, "You got out of the car?"
All right, I get it -- what the hell was I thinking? I made a very irresponsible decision. It won't happen again. I hope. We said our goodbyes after I swore that I was OK. I placed my cell phone in my pocket and began getting ready for my first class, but stopped mid step when I caught my reflection in a mirror. I shook my head in disbelief and a grin escaped my lips. For whatever reason that morning, I had worn my UCLA Bruin tee shirt.