Saturday, May 21, 2011


Sleep was like water this morning as I dove under its murky surface and came up for air only to submerge again. The regular breathing of the man who loves me lulled me back to some nether world each time I almost woke. At the moment of one almost-waking, Layla sat in the corner of my bedroom where the pink velvet dog bed used to be back when she was still able-bodied enough to climb the stairs. She was young in my almost-dream--sitting up straight and watching me with her ears cocked unevenly.

In our first nights at my new condo, I'd fill the CD player before Lola and Layla and I climbed the stairs. I had never lived alone, and the music gave a beat to my jangled loneliness. I can't remember how many weeks it took to get comfortable with the idea of no man to share my bed, no other humans breathing in my house, but the dogs came to expect the music. Lola would get into her bed as soon as I got into mine,  Layla, however, would pace as I  made some attempt to read. When I turned out the light, she would come to my side of the bed and settle her chin near my pillow. "Good-night, good dog," I used to tell her.

And here she was this morning back for a visit.