Flies arriving on the backdoor, big black bottles yearning to be let out. I oblige sweeping them into the frozen air.
What are they rising from. What dead body feeds the maggots. What little present do I want to avoid. I hope they’ve finished their work and it has returned to dust.
The dog watches it all from her bed under the table. She views with equanimity the shivering mouse edging under the counter, the mother raccoon nesting on the porch, even the bird brained squirrels collecting bread from the compost.
The dog is skeletal. Her sleek coat, often admired by passing humans, is coming out in tufts, I don’t know why. She hobbles up stairs. But she seems happy now. It was only when she changed from quick unassailable dog to old lady that both she and I felt the loss. This is a new phase, one I imagine of contemplation, and appreciation of the good things in life, food, a satisfying scratch, a deep comfortable sleep, and sometime a burst of energy that makes her look like a puppy again.
More phases are ending, COSINE waves of seasons, fall dipping into Narnia winter. Take out our bundling coats and stumble over the white clouds. The lantern steams between the fir trees. Mr. Tumnas leads me to his patterned lobby. A blanket proffered for chilly knees. The tea makes me sleepy, have I been betrayed.
Is fiction an liar. Do we spend our days in distracted slumber. The winter waits for someone one with a purpose to melt the white noise.
Am I pulling my weight. Did I do it right? Is there a punishment for noncompliance.
I suspect a softer universe. But not a benevolent father. Perhaps an avuncular universe, distant, with his own life, but wishing you the best, and there in an emergency. The favoured uncle, the bright niece, the best presents for xmas and birthdays. These will not be forgotten.