Fiction from NER 33.2.
Brandon and Kara went hiking but were unprepared for the physical challenge. “Hiking is hard work,” said Kara. She cupped her hands and drank from a limpid mountain stream.
“But it’s awesome,” she said.
“Nature rocks,” said Brandon.
They were in the San Gabriel Mountains and from their elevation could see Los Angeles and the smog in the distance. In Los Angeles city people lived in tiny apartments. The tiny apartments had tiny windows and the tiny windows had tiny curtains which blocked the prying eyes of neighbors. The curtains, sometimes, needed to be ironed.
Brandon didn’t own an iron.
He thought about this.
Nature, he thought, is good because it’s simple and expansive.
Brandon came to the mountains to find enlightenment. Enlightenment, he learned from his yoga teacher, could be found in nature.
Bryan Hurt’s stories have appeared most recently in Joyland, Tin House, and TriQuarterly. He tweets at @bryan_hurt, tumbles at bryanhurt.tumblr.com, and lives in Los Angeles, where he’s finishing up his Ph.D. at the University of Southern California.