Saturday night Nick was in my dream. He’s my last pet, who has been gone for almost ten years now. He’s been in my dreams a lot lately, not as the focal point, but just there hanging out in the background, part of the scene.

When I found out my ex-brother-in-law passed away a month ago, Nick just started showing up. In the first dream I was just sitting on the couch in my apartment, watching TV, feeling sad and brooding, when all of a sudden the door to my apartment opened and Nick came running down the hall, tore around the corner, and leaped up on the couch right into my lap. So happy to see me! So young and vibrant! My God, it was good to see him! I hugged him so tight and buried my nose into his fur, smelling that doggy smell. I woke up just then and I was so happy to have held him, even if only for a few seconds in a dream.

Since then, he’s just been around in any dreams that occur in my apartment. It feels like he’s just there, on the couch beside me resting his chin on the arm rest and sleeping, at the foot of the bed nuzzling my legs when I’m sleeping, and pacing in the hall by the door, his toe nails clicking on the tile. There’s been no more big feelings about it, no hugs and smells that seem so real, just there in the background of otherwise mundane dreams.

In Saturday night’s dream he was in the hall, standing by the door, clicking the tile, and I poked my head around the corner and called to him to come sit with me. He turned and tried to come to me but his front legs buckled and he collapsed into a kneeling position. He couldn’t get up. I couldn’t move. I just stood there looking at him, air caught in my throat, paralysed, panicking. What happened? Oh my God! What’s going on? 

And then it dawned on me … all this time in the apartment and I’ve never taken him out for a walk and to do his business. He’s been a good dog. He hasn’t made any messes inside. He’s been holding it and holding it and holding it … and trying to get my attention to take him out … but I’ve just been watching TV and cooking and working and sleeping and enjoying his presence but not really paying him any mind. What kind of monster am I?!

I ran into the hall, picked him up, and started to open the door … then I woke up.

Sunday morning I went out to get a hair cut. I think Saturday night’s dream was brought on by this upcoming appointment. It’s only the fourth time I’ve left my apartment since March 16, when the pandemic closed things down. But it’s the first time I went anywhere in public, around people who aren’t family. My boyfriend visits me. We’ve gone for a couple of drives and I went to visit my parents on their deck. But that’s all. I’ve not been in any stores. I’ve not seen anyone else. Maybe Nick has been trying to coax me outside this entire time.

Mood: inquisitive
Drinking: Just Us, Rebel blend, black, pour-over
Listening To: wind chimes and a jake break
Hair: razored short in the back and sides, more fluffy on top


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