We sit in silence, the dog and I. Outside the world begins to wake, hesitantly at first. In that weak dawn light the birds tweet without reason and without care. Later a generator begins to hum. A car engine starts. A door slams. Muffled voices congregate somewhere near only to trail off excitedly together as the sun arches across the sky. The dog is restless. Whines and casts in my direction an inquisitive look as she cocks her head accusingly. I tell her, It is my decision to stay.
Nature keeps us company while they are gone. Through the trees the wind speaks. I see the tall pines waving gently from where I sit. Beyond the ridge are mountains impassable, black against the sky with their obstructed trails and vague paths. Men who would adventure no longer lived here, migrated years ago to new lands.
I think of other places and the people in those places. The world was turning but not here. Circumvolving on some other place away from me. Thoughts cloud over while I wait, watching nothing in particular. Fearing the unknown but yearning for change. Uncertainty and regret dwelling in the shadows shifting across the back wall, cast from branches and those tired curtains in the midday sun.
The dog leaves the room, comes back, leaves, comes back. I remain where I am in restless comfort. Throughout the day my eyes glaze over all. At some point I rise to open the window and as I stand looking out the light fades and the sky grows dark.
In the quiet twilight something takes the attention of the dog. She gets up and runs to the window, fore legs on the windowsill. Nose in the air, ears erect but tuned into what. Tuned into what. Inquisitive but cautious. She hears something, nothing that I can hear but of which is undoubtedly there. Growling with unease she turns from room to window to room as if weighing up some polymathic decision that cannot be made lightly and cannot be undone. She yelps and jumps out of the window and she is gone and I am left alone. The night continues to churn out that constant but indescribable sound, distinct and subtle. The soundtrack of a dreamless sleep.
The door rattles and I wake startled. Whether hours or days have passed I do not know. They return exhausted, euphoric and drunk, marching past me without acknowledgment, back to their beds to rest. Those who come back have come back changed. Talking among themselves in a dialect I cannot understand.
© Nicholas J. Parr, 2015