selected past writing at 42opus
It had been raining in the valley of the Sacramento. The North Fork had overflowed its banks and Rattlesnake Creek was impassable. The few boulders that had marked the summer ford at Simpson's Crossing were obliterated by a vast sheet of water stretching to the foothills. The up stage was stopped at Grangers; the last mail had been abandoned in the tules, the rider swimming for his life. "An area," remarked the "Sierra Avalanche," with pensive local pride, "as large as the State of Massachusetts is now under water."
The waves, as if they were ashamed, roll up to it tentatively, and just before they reach the shore, they turn back.
On the treadmill, he did not know if he was walking forward or backward. It was the same when he was stopped in traffic and the cars started to move and his car seemed to be drifting backward and he slammed on the breaks.