We parked next to a car whose window had been smashed in since they’d parked. Glass lay on the ground below the car and all over the front passenger seat. It was a popular trailhead, but far from the nearest town and tucked away on a dirt road. There are always a couple cars in there. And usually people don’t even bother to lock their cars. That’s Vermont for you.
But someone had busted the window of this car. There was a cell phone still on the seat, an iPod charger connected to nothing, a map on the floor, an empty white mug with brown rings in the cupholder. And of course shattered glass. Not shards, but glittering granules, like misshapen diamonds.
The few things in my car worth stealing I hid half-heartedly and walked with a couple friends into the woods. We passed a few people coming down, but didn’t say anything. Its’ a lovely forest and I didn’t want to ruin it for anyone. Whosever car it was would find out soon enough.
We hiked to the overlook and watched the sun set behind the Adirondacks. It was, of course, beautiful. A patchwork of forest and field, tiny cars, a distant rumple of blue mountains backed by a golden sky, the first lights coming to life in miniature houses, a deepening twilight stillness though which passed someone who’d betrayed it all.
When we got back to the parking lot the car with the broken window was gone and so was most of the glass. They’d swept it up and brought it with them.