Winter. I always wished I could enjoy the cold air more. It would sure have made those long treks easier to bear. Not easy, just slightly less miserable. I know my pup liked it, though, so I tried to keep that in mind when I felt like my eyeballs were freezing from the outside in.
Cove had had a good little week, seizure free. We walked out to a clear portion of pasture to celebrate with a little game of fetch. It wasn’t much, but those moments were always the most memorable, even if I felt my fingertips turning gray with frostbite.
The pasture wasn’t ours – in fact, nothing was ours. We were drifters on the run. On the run from ourselves.
Everywhere we went back then was riddled with NO TRESPASSING signs. We walked where we wanted to walk. I always liked the way the Native Americans felt about the land, that no man could own it. However, I also understood the need for privacy. City people migrated to pastureland more every year. Privacy was becoming less and less abundant.
We took the risks of trespassing because we liked our privacy, too. Cove and I, we loved our quiet time. Noises gave her headaches and drove me insane. Yeah, we liked the quiet.
In that pasture we played fetch for an hour. Cove liked those repetitive games. It made me smile to see her healthy, happy, and playful. It was a simple joy and deserved recognition. Mostly, simple things lose their prominence as people grow up. People take little everyday moments for granted. Not Cove and I. We loved these quiet, playful moments and set out to fill a book with them.
After fetch we walked. Lots of walking, always. Walking lets us think. We walked through mesquite trees and heavy brush, but mostly it was a walk through clear, open pasture. Cattle grazed as we walked by, not paying much attention to us. Cove is indifferent to cows, luckily. I’ve seen some dogs chase cattle regardless of how much punishment the dogs receive afterward. But not Cove. She’s in her own world most of the time, like me. That’s how we like it. That’s what keeps us sane (mostly).
We came to a wooded area and found a little animal trail leading inside. It was a tight squeeze for me, Cove, and the wagon I pulled around everywhere, but we were used to making things work. The trail led to a little clearing within the woods. I looked all around and saw no signs of humanity or heard any voices through oaks. The trees were pretty thick, giving us a nice little wall of shelter, so I threw down my backpack and began to unload the tent.
Dusk came as I finished pitching the tent. Our little temporary home wasn’t much, but it was sure cozy on a cold evening. Cove laid on her mat next to my cot as I wrote in my journal. I wrote down every good thing that happened to us that day. Sometimes good things are hard to find, but mostly good things pop out easily. I just had to learn how to see them, how to appreciate them.
I wrapped up my journal as the final glimpse of sunlight disappeared below the horizon. I mixed a can of dog food with Cove’s medications and opened a can of beans for myself as she ate greedily. Dinner in the dark.
It made no sense – us being out there, in the cold, eating from cans in the dark. I guess we just grew tired of doing things because they made sense to do so. We figured it was time to start doing more of what made no sense at all. In that way, nonsense became the most reasonable aspect of our lives. It was free. We were free – free of all the norms and expectations. Because of that, we were happy. Everything we owned fit in my backpack and wagon. We had each other and really, we had everything we could ever need.
Out there, we were safe. Once people found out what I was, they came in droves. They came after me. So Cove and I had been on the run ever since. They’d never find us. They moved on with life and in a few years they forgot I ever existed. Cove and I just had to wait out the time in isolation. Honestly, I grew to prefer solitude quickly.