Today, in the spirit of not smoking, I went for a walk. Although I refuse, as a matter of principle, to call my walks anything other than walks, this was a walk that could maybe have merited a more grandiose terminology. Maybe it rose to the level of a hike. The scratches on my arm and my stomach, and the poison oak that will emerge in a week, certainly suggest as much.
Anyway, somewhere in the middle of this walk, before I found myself dangling from a tree branch and screaming like a small child (I was maybe a foot and a half away from the bottom at that point, lest you imagine me in actual physical danger) I found a skeleton. A vertebrae. I actually found myself trying to pick it up, at which point the bottom half fell off. It was only a little bit later (after the dangling from the branch) that I found myself contemplating the hygiene implications of picking up the skeleton (it had to have died of something, right?).
I have no idea what kind of skeleton it was. Probably not human. (I didn't find the whole thing, only the vertebrae.) Anyway, I don't know what the protocol is for skeletons found in the woods. Are you supposed to report them? What if it was human? Etc.
This happens to me a lot -- I never know how interventionist to be. By nature, I'm pretty anti-interventionist. If I'm crying on the bus, I want to be left alone, etc. So when I hear shrieking coming from a neighboring apartment building I assume it's kids playing or something similarly innocuous. But then you read the stories about the woman killed in full view of her neighbors and editorialists writing about how come nobody did anything and then you worry that maybe you should become one of those people who asks people if they're all right and calls the police and steps into conversations. I don't know.