She looked back over her left shoulder to see if anybody was looking.

No one.

So she flung the bag as far as she could, her Herculean effort hindered by the stands of long-thorn kiawe bordering the coastal trail.

I know, because I was there.

Over her right shoulder.

“That’s not great.”

She recoiled with surprise and then sulked with shame, like a toddler getting busted for pocketing a helicopter from JCPenney. 

I didn’t know better at the time. My mom dragged me back into the store when she saw the unfamiliar bulge in my pocket, and made me apologize to the manager for a transgression I didn’t yet understand.

But never forgot.

“No,” she agreed, assessing her offering of plastic and poo buoyed by the bed of branches, “it’s not great.”

These things we do, when we think no one is looking, can be a more honest reflection of a life well-lived.

I touched the head of her yellow Labrador.

“Beautiful dog. I have one just like him. A girl, though.”

And I walked past his wagging tail, followed a few steps later by pulses of profanity in answer to nature’s shallow lashing, as she made her way through the tangle of thorns to right her wrong. 

But I wasn’t looking.

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