I had gone for a run along the dry Rialto Riverbed late in the afternoon. I started late enough that when I turned back west, the Catalina Mountains hummed with red on brown, glowing stubbornly against the dissipating colors of a desert sunset. It had been a long run, and I was relieved to see the lights of Trader Joe’s approach as I jogged along the blackening path towards my car waiting in the parking lot.
Trader Joe’s sucked me in for forty minutes, and by the time I walked back to my car, the salicylic acid had settled in my legs and the sweat on my t-shirt had dried into a cold clamminess. The three canvas totes went into the trunk, and as I eased back into the front seat of the Civic, I saw the moon crest over the ridge of the Catalinas: a full moon, or close to it.