Monday, June 27, 2011
Dreaming of Max
In the dream I emerge from the cool dark of a tall brick house into the heat of a mid-summer day. I clatter down a set of rickety wooden stairs and stand with my back to the nondescript building, raising a hand to shade my eyes as I scan the surrounding land. The sun, shining high overhead, bleaches the sky white and casts hard shadows through the leafy tops of trees.
At first I think I am looking for Murdoch. My eyes move across the small, bushy trees of bright green behind the house, to a dirt road that runs beside it. Across the road there is a store of some kind and there are enough people milling about for me to be worried if Murdoch is on the loose. I’m not worried though, so I must be looking for something else.
The house is at the edge of a town. Behind the row of trees stretches great open fields. Farmland, I’m sure, though I can’t actually see it. What lies in the other direction is a mystery, but I assume the bustling life of a small town.
I still don’t know what I’m waiting for, but it feels as though I’ve been standing there for hours, though it may have been just a few minutes. The people, the house, the store, everything is secondary, flat, like background noise, details lost in the hazy heat of the day.
Then, behind the store, I notice a path I haven’t seen before, it is out of the way and sneaks behind a row of houses. I see a dark shape along the trail in the distance lying on the grass and I am flooded with relief. There he is, I think, and start walking towards him.
I don’t hurry because as I move through the warm summer sunshine towards that resting figure I know it is Max and he’s tired and taking a break after a long walk. I know he will be there waiting when I reach him so I move slowly along the dry dusty trail, catching just the edge of shade from the trees that line the path.
There are other people there too now, walking with me, talking about every day things, but I don’t really hear them. I smile vaguely as though I’m listening, but I am entirely focused on Max.
When I draw closer to him, I break away from the group without a word and scramble over a low stone wall. Max lies in the shade, panting, with a relaxed smile on his lips. There is no sign of his wheelchair. I kneel down to kiss the top of his head then wrap my arms around his neck. He glows a golden caramel even in the shade and his fur smells like sunshine.