Writing isn’t easy. Editing is like cleaning up after a wild party and you realize some of the great ideas you and your buddies had at three in the morning are not so good after all. Never do any major remodeling when you’re writing until you’ve talked to someone not involved in the project. It may sound like a great idea but once you get up and start editing you may wonder why you drank twelve gallons of moonshine before you started writing, and if you didn’t drink at all, well, that makes it seems worse. You were sober when you came up with that idea? Really? Have you been smoking crack then, because crack world explain a few of the details, wouldn’t it? I deeply suspect that writers do not drink nearly as much as they claim but brag about drinking to justify very bad writing. Yeah, that was Jack Daniels that wrote that chapter I have no idea what he was thinking.
I was sober last night when I started writing, was sober when I finished, and when I went to bed, I was thinking, “Gee, that was productive! I’ll do some editing tomorrow morning and all will be well.” I like what I had written, but I have had that feeling before. It’s a lot like smelling something in the kitchen but when you taste it the Habanero peppers you put in override the ability of the human mouth to handle it and you dare not feed it to the dogs. I worry when I like something I’ve written, can you tell?
Anyway, so I turn on my CD player to listen to my white noise CD of ocean sounds. This will ensure the dogs don’t react to small noises, and it will also drown out any of the storm noises that might still be going on late. I need the rest and it has been a long day. I’m trying to drift into sleep when I begin to hear voices. My grandmother heard voices as she aged so when I hear things I check the dogs. Dogs rarely hallucinate. Once I watched as Sam barked in his sleep, woke Bert up and when Bert barked in reaction to Sam barking, Sam woke up and started barking too. They got up and ran to the door while I sat there and laughed at them. “Did I hear something? I thought you heard something! I didn’t hear anything, you were the one barking!” But they aren’t reacting to the voices at all. They aren’t so much as raising an ear. There are no voices. If there was a human within a mile of this place Bert would hammer down and bray at them. Bert is sleeping soundly, as is his brothers.
I’m not in the least bit afraid of dogs, any dogs, at all. Yet I am also not stupid enough to go where there are three large dogs who do not know me, and they are on their home turf. I cannot feel any safer than to have these three surrounding me in total dark. I listen to the sound of the ocean, and I hear voices. Bert does not hear voices. Sam and Lucas do not hear voices. Ergo, I do not hear voices. I hear voices.
I listen carefully and it seems as if the voices are speaking Spanish. I’m reminded of Poe’s “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” where people mistake the sounds of an orangutan for foreign language. Okay, Mike, of the two possibilities, do you think it is more likely there is a primate or someone speaking Spanish outside your home? Don’t get aggressive I was just reminded of that, it doesn’t mean…stop talking to yourself. You started it. Okay, there are no apes, nor are there any Spanish speaking humans outside your home, we have declared it so, the dogs are in a agreement, there are no voices and sleep can be had now.
I hear voices.
There are four lights!
I drift off to sleep, mostly because I am so stressed out my body demands a shutdown. Christmas is unlike any other event I know, and there really is no way to prepare, or unwind. Voices be dammed, I need to rest, and honestly, it wouldn’t really matter what happened as long as Bert slept through it. I mean, so what? Suppose there are voices? Are they bullet proof? Can they stand down three dogs? Voices aren’t the most insane thing my mind has come up with, and as I drift off to sleep that thought sticks. What exactly is the most insane thing your mind has come up with? Oh. Right. I was married once. If you’ve ever been married then you know why the supernatural just isn’t as scary as it once was.
Darkness is my friend. I wake up after a dream of exploding lights and there is total and complete darkness. Each mutt has his own breathing pattern. Sam is a snoring dog but it isn’t as loud as it once was. Lucas has a set of lungs and I can tell where his head is. Bert is two feet away, and breathing deep the sound of sleep. If I raise up on both elbows they will all be awake before I can get up. The shotgun is three feet away from the bed, and I hold my breath and listen.
I hear voices. Faintly, but there are still voices. The number of people the dogs would not react to are one, and I’m me. But they are not stirring. How can this be? It occurs to me I’m rhyming in the dark. I drift off to sleep hearing Spanish voices, or not, I don’t care as long as the dogs don’t, and they don’t.
There isn’t a dawn, but there is a Bert. He wants to go out and as soon as I try to push him off of me Lucas hits the floor and then leaps up on the bed, which causes Sam to awaken, and he wants to be petted on a dog’s head. I go to turn the CD player off and I realize I had it switched to radio, but the CD was still playing. It’s a Spanish AM station, and I listen to their voices.