Which means, I suppose, I get something out of it, even if it is nothing more than the reassurance of familiarity, which is growing old, I have to say, which is losing its luster, I must admit, due to the fact that for the last few years at least, life has been mostly sweet for me if I am to admit the truth and I will.
Somewhere between this morning's walk and the early afternoon doldrums, I felt myself slip down into that place where the black dog faces me squarely and opens his red, toothy mouth and says something to the effect of, "Did you think I was gone entirely? No. I am still here, always, to tell you that your life, which, by the way, is creeping always ever closer to being over, has not amounted to much. There. Think about that." And he blinks his yellow eyes and lays down again and curls himself around my feet and leaves me heaving in disbelief.
Oh. Fuck you, you black dog.
Tomorrow I'm going to Wakulla Springs with my kids and grand kids and maybe I'll rinse myself off in that clear, pure water and maybe I'll hold my grandson's hand as we cruise down the river through the jungle to see turtles, to see birds, to see gators, to see fish, to see cypress trees that were here on earth a thousand years ago and the Spanish moss will drip from their branches and the man driving the boat will describe the turtles as "SOUP size" and call up Henry the Jumping Catfish over the huge bowl of the spring where 200 to 300 millions of gallons of water gush forth from the Florida aquifer every day and Owen will shiver at the sight of alligators and we may get lunch at the soda fountain or in the dining room of the beautiful old hotel where Old Joe, an alligator murdered and now encased in glass for perpetuity rests in the lobby and when we dip Gibson into the springs (a true Baptism in my belief) he will gasp at the coldness and be holy and wholly blessed.
And the black dog can go fuck himself, and the ghost of Johnny Weismuller will be our guide.
That's what I'm thinking tonight as bread rises. As the sun sets. As I am struggling but will wake up tomorrow and feel different and I know that's true.