On an early morning a couple of weeks ago while my dog, Zoey, took me to retrieve her pee-mails we came across something unusual. Suspended from a large wooden pergola by four bungee cords hung a hammock. It was odd that one would be hanging in a public area in the first place, but it was early, and I could make out a body inside the pea-pod shape. A red car was parked close by, which I assumed belonged to the swinging sleeper.
Immediately my mind spun an ominous story; this person was running from someone, maybe an abusive spouse, perhaps from hired thugs because they uncovered company secrets, etc., etc. Anyway, he or she was in such a hurry, and they couldn’t get the money together and had no place to stay for the night. While driving aimlessly, they came across a lonely pergola on a hill and remembered about the hammock they’d recently purchased and left in their trunk…
Such over the top theories often run amuck in my head. But in truth, I had no idea what this person’s story was. Were they homeless? Runaways? Or did they decide the night before, hey, wouldn’t it be fun to sleep in a hammock—could it have been that easy? Could someone lack so much drama in his or her life? It’s more likely the case than a scenario of running from the mob like a John Grisham novel. Could it be that someone simply wanted to sleep in a hammock outside?
If so, I’d have to agree; it would be fun falling asleep to the hum of crickets or by a gentle rocking breeze. What about the fresh air? The moonlight? Seeing the view of the entire Salt Lake Valley from one spot, dangling five feet off the ground? Or maybe they were lured there for once, to wake to the sunrise and not to the set, beep, beep, beep, of angry electronics?
I realized then the strangeness of seeing a hanging bed wasn’t that it was there, but that my knee-jerk reaction to it led me to think of something so dark.