Regardless of what your mind might tell you in the small hours of the night, the dogs know the truth. For all his faults, Marco Ladakh is a very large animal with a very big voice. Both he and his sister have excellent hearing as do my two girls. Lilith Anne and Tyger Linn are more apt to investigate before they start cranking up the vocals but Marco’s default position is to let everyone in the area code know something has attracted his attention. Anyone who gets up during the night causes a chain reaction of investigation. I’m not saying it would be impossible for anyone to sneak up on me after dark but it would be, at the least, inadvisable.
Last night I woke up to the sound of two people talking outside. I checked the Tyger Linn and she was asleep at my side. Now, the most human of reactions is to trust the organ sitting inside the skull, but I listen for the voices and I listen to the sound of two large dogs sleeping. If I heard it, and my hearing isn’t the best at all, someone else in the room would have heard it, too. No one heard anything. Ergo, the sounds did not exist. I lay back down and listen, not for voices, but for the sounds of sleep within the pack. Tyger Linn’s lungs draw oxygen in, release carbon dioxide, and she sleeps, and perhaps dreams, too. A small, but potent animal, Tyger is acutely aware of when I am awake and when I am not. If I sit up she’ll be off the bed before I can swing by feet over. Before I can reach a standing position the Cousins will be up and milling around. Lilith will hit the floor as soon as she hears everyone else get up. No, no, there were no voices.
I remember pieces of a dream in was having. It was a shifting, disjointed story, but there was a woman there who was speaking to me, and it may have been her voice that drifted into the waking world. It would seem the sound of voices would be less of trigger between the worlds than the more haptic sensations that occur in dreams. This thought sticks with me, lays down beside Tyger Linn, and I know sleep is gone. But why do we hallucinate voices and sounds and not the sensation of touch? Paracusia seems to be associated with mental illness but it also appears on its own with no apparent reason. Yet far fewer people report in feeling a touch on the skin, or a feeling of orgasm without physical interactions, I suspect. A person can, and many do, have orgasms during sleep, and during dreams, but it’s not the same as hearing voices in the night that come from no sound made.
We humans are geared to accept fiction. Money is a fictional construct that most people in the world have bought into, no pun intended, and we accept as truth what deep down inside we know is fiction. There is nothing about a one dollar bill that is intrinsically more valuable than a one hundred dollar bill, except what we pretend there is. There is nothing valuable about a famous singer or actor except that we make it so by believing it is. There has never been a sports figure or an actor that made your life better in appreciable terms but they are paid (with the fiction of money) in amounts that stagger the imagination, which is where all of this began.
Facebook is a hybrid of both real people and people whose existence is partially fiction. There are people on Facebook who know who I am, and I know who they are, and we interact at various times during the day or week. My sisters are there, the Nibbling is there, my mother and close friends all share information and time inside a computer server that is located somewhere. Yet there are other people, people I have never met, might never meet, whose lives I follow and whose photos I look at, and whose dogs I could name more easily than I could my co-workers’ children. We agree to accept most of what is posted at face value, again, no pun intended, and rarely to the nonfictional real life people and the fictional far away people whose lives never truly become 4-D, mix.
There’s very little maintenance needed for a relationship that has half a dozen states in between those involved in it. There’s no need for a break from the person or some irritation with the way someone snores or forgets to bring the chicken for supper. We are geared to accept fiction, sometimes, more than we’re geared to accept reality. But love is both fiction and reality, and far away relationships have been known to blossom and produce futures where the real world has failed. The reality of love is that it is fiction, and the fiction of love is that it is reality. Two people have to agree in this fiction, like money, movies, and driving etiquette.
Tyger Linn takes her nose and pushes me. This is a sign she realizes I am awake and I ought to be petting her. The house is quiet and the sound of sleeping dogs I all I can hear. Tyger drifts off again and there background sounds of home fill the air. Oxygen, carbon dioxide, and other gases are mixed and dissipated and they all act as the medium by which sound travels. Somewhere out there, running along electrons that are running along wires that are slinging bits of data through the air, two people are talking, perhaps exploring love, fictional or nonfictional, and I wonder if they’ll make it. They will ignore the warnings of those around them and swear they hear something no one else can.
In the wee hours of the morning, if those who sleep have not woken, sit down and ask yourself what reality is, or what your mind tells you it might be. Reality, like love, has been mistaken, misspoken, and forsaken before. You cannot afford to believe in fiction, in deaf realities, and even money, especially when those whose hearts are true, would not raise their heads for it. Ah, but, love! How a dog react to love tells you all you need to know about how real it is.