Sunday, June 19, 2016

The Hunter in the Dark







It would seem that my home will have a hunter. Abbi Gale, the Cat from Hell was my first hunter, many years ago, and both Bert and Sam hunted, sometimes as a team, and that was scary. Now the mantle has been passed to Tyger Linn, who will go out into storms and hunt if I will let and I usually will not. When she is finished completing her round and rooting out vermin in the woods she wants to come home and snuggle, muddy and soaking wet. This is never conducive to a good night’s sleep. I would seem to tergiversate on the subjects of rain and hunting, and Summer, but anything in overabundance is not a good thing. I like the heat, but not to the point of suffering. I like rain, but not to the point of flooding. I don’t mind Tyger’s hunting, but I don’t want her getting on the bed needing to be run through a car wash.

The rain lulled me in and out of sleep, and the Cousins slept hard, while Tyger Linn waited. She had quietened her war cries at the distant thunder while everyone else listened to the sound of a gentle yet steady rain. Summer, even when the air is a bit cooler, has a say in this. The residual heat from the day kept the air heavy and warm, uncomfortably so, until about midnight. Sleep came and went, dreams fragmented and moved on, and about one or so the rains ceased, and a full moon opened up a wonderland of shadow and light outside. Tyger Linn, saw this as a chance to make up for lost time. Sleeplessly, I agreed with her and released them all into the night.


I had a dream where I was living in a house and there was a heavy rain outside. The ceiling was leaking and water was dripping from many places at one time. I could see the white of the ceiling turn to darkness as it was soaked with water and new leaks appeared in so many places I couldn’t see them all. I put my hand out on the wall and it sunk in, just a little. The wall had rotted from moisture and I could dig my fingers into it as if it were made of putty. Yet when I withdrew my fingers there was a grey dust on them that solidified and I could feel the circulation of my skin being cut off. But I couldn’t stop. Again and again I sank my fingers into the formerly solid walls and then I started dragging my fingers down into them like a car would a scratching post. Water poured out of the wounds in the wall and soon my hands froze into claws that I used to tear down the walls as the water poured from the ceiling in a flood and the walls leaked like streams unleashed.

Reality, or at least what passes for it, intruded, I almost woke up, and then was suspended in between as someone almost was form from a dream yet the moonlight tore the veil asunder and I could not recognize who it was or why the almost person was almost here. Marco began to bark and I awoke fully, and demanded the pack return to the house and leave the moonlight to the visions.

Tyger Linn, like all my hunters have in the past, has to come to me with her stories of what has happened in the woods. She is wet, I have to towel her off, which is great fun and a reward for hunting, and she wiggles inside the toweled space. Yet for all her fame as a hunter, Tyger Linn is the smallest dog I have shared space with in quite some time. Barely thirty-five pound, she is easily handled with a towel and even more easy to snuggle with once she is clean and dried. She is a happy little Striped One now, and settles in for real sleep.

My own sleep in restless and filled with images that do not fully form and sensations that are not part of the reality of the waking. I wake up to discover my pillow is dry, even though I thought I felt it as damp, I hear rain again yet the moon shines full in the night. I feel as if I am late for work but it is Sunday. I toss and turn, freeze and burn, and I dream of a form unfilled. There is someone just inside the dream world waiting for me, like a lover waiting for me to get undressed, yet the zipper is stuck.

Finally, after being flung between the two world, the eastern sky pales and the Cousins arise and flap their ears in the near light. It is time to feed large dogs. I get up and feed them then return to bed. The dreams nearly continue but once again, there is too much background noise for the visions to be clearly read. Yet part of a Science Fiction story begins to gel. I can see clearly now a society bent on draining the people on earth of their ability to appreciate life there in favor of a fantasy world created by the ultra-rich on Mars. This kicks me awake as I try to connect the dots through the lack of sleep and the fact that I have had no coffee yet.

The sunrise comes and finds me trying to piece together a story about two worlds. One is reality and the other invented fantasy. One is where people live and the other is where people would like to dream. The similarity between the story and my insomnia isn’t lost on me at all. Yet there are many words to be cranked out before I can say the story has truly begun and many revisions before it will be called finished.

Coffee, the release of the hunter to the woods, and finally, words began to appear where there once was only dreams.

Take Care,
Mike

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