Sometimes I wonder if it would mess with my mind if I could see with my eyes and not my head. Like for example the woman who I have grown old with and loved for all these years, would it be strange if she is not what I already picture, I mean sure I could pick her out from a thousand strangers by her jolly voice or her uniquely sculpted face but not things like the shade of her eyes, patches of freckles sprawled across her skin or the circles beneath her eyes she claims to possess. When I meet someone I imagine them as if to be a blank canvas that I can add too as I learn of their structure. But as an artist I feel my work is never complete, I have a hollow feeling within me that my canvas still looks half blank.
As Miranda lay on her side breathing heavily and letting out the occasional snore I lay awake. I reveled in the feeling of the cool autumnal breezes that occasionally fluttered through the window with the chill that tried to clasp my toes from the end of the crochet quilt, it was a sensation in which I could not imagine being without. I felt myself dozing off at one point but I just could not bring myself to drop into a slumber after such a plain day on an exhilaratingly perfect night. I swept the floor with my feet and dropped into my woolen slippers then proceeded to scrunch up my toes skin tight to preserve the warmth of my quilt, I grabbed my new cane and made for the stairs. The feeling of this new cane was like the rest, plastic, thin and obviously not durable but it would have to do for now. I felt with caution for the lock on the front of our worn down wooden door, the last thing I needed was another splinter. Once aware of the clunk of the lock a force of wind rolled in and swung upon the door, but not hard enough for me to restrain. I pulled on my winter coat and jerked the smooth but heavy sleeves down my arms.
Once outside I felt tranquil and alive, although chilly it was a beautiful feeling that I couldn't just yet let go of. Making my way down the cobbled path to the picket gate at the edge of my garden I felt no sense of apprehension to stay within the safety of my house, being used to my wifes watchful eye and the house proofed for a baby my senses yearned for this moment of self dependence. Sweeping my untrusted cane across the ground for precaution I proceeded onward into unknowing lurking right before my cane.
The crunching of the leaves beneath my feet satisfied my sound, the chill of the air swam through each strand of my thin hairs and the smell of the pine trees seeping from all around was almost magic. But the ambience around me suddenly plummeted, my cane struggled to find a solid balance on the damp ground then the loud snap of my cane traveled up to my eardrums as it parted in two. In about three seconds of confusion I was racing down a high terrain being poked and pricked along the way, I wasn’t really quite aware of what was happening until I landed face down and felt a searing pain in my left hip. I didn’t feel like crying or yelling but only a sense of loneliness that traveled up my spine and turned to a shudder followed but a unforced sigh...well more of a groan of not only sadness but rage that I could have gotten myself into such a situation.
Taking about seven minutes to absorb the situation to my head I attempted to arise back to my feet, but a sharp daggering pain entered across my body from my hip and pulled me back down. It was hopeless trying again, I knew it was, the pain was excruciatingly unbearable. I figured I could wait it out till morning but the magical sensation of the autmnal night had left and brought on a clock of frost. I curled myself up and whimpered into my chest thinking how could a pathetic old blind man like me think he could take on the world alone. The spooky owl hoots frequently dropped by along with the rest of the dead of night woodland orchestra, but it wasn’t that which scared me, it was the loneliness.
Suddenly after about an hour of laying in the abyss I felt a tug on my shirt and a pulling that overpowered me completely. Reaching out my weak, frail arms I clasped hand which had grabbed me...it was not a hand it was a snout...a wolf...it must be a wolf. In an instance of uncontrollable fear I shrieked and yelped for the life of me, kicking and squealing out to anyone or anything that might hear me. Squirming out of my coat I tried to clamber to my feet but the sharp pain returned and stung my hip again, I felt the jaw clasped my shirt and pulling me back up the hill. I knew I had to go for it myself, this was my chance to be independent like I wished. Sp grabbing a hold of a thick branch that ran by my side I repeatedly hit the wolf until I heard it cry and sink to the ground. I plummeted along with the creature, breathless and completely motionless except for my hand that shakingly approached the animal checking for a pulse...thats when my heart sank.
I felt a leathery object around its neck...a collar, this was not a wolf, in fact it felt too small to be a wolf as soon as I had realized. My hand dropped with my sigh of disbelief within my hollow self. But to my surprise I felt the tug at my neck again, my body was traveling, this time slower but still journeying up the hill...this animal was taking me home. Suddenly I didn’t feel so hollow, or alone, or frightened and the dog understood through its pain and suffering it had the bravery and independence to reach out and help me. My hearted had never beaten so fast in all my life, I felt as if I could finally see.
The instance I stopped moving the reached out and felt for my picket fence, pulling myself upward through the searing but now bearable pain I also grasped the animals collar as jerked him through the gate and up to the door with me…our home.