The Mugger Who Hugged Me

I shifted my weight beneath it. Still, it was too heavy. Much too heavy. Sixty-odd pounds of camp gear, $200 cash, and a plane ticket to Vermont. Fullerton stretched toward the western horizon until infinity, an infinity that cars chased or fled with a desperation I could gleefully snub. After all, I was on my way to the Northeast Kingdom for a week of roughing it — sleeping in a bivy, catching my own fish; in other words, getting the hell away from everything I was looking at — fat pigeons, cigarette butts, planes, cars, police cars, trains…