The day my dog died, I marked, nameless, my territory. From the slope where my apartment is to the end of the street, the traffic light, surprisingly it sounded like no traffic at all for that rush hour, the sun going down, everything going down in turn, to the crosswalk, to another, cut perpendicularly, brakes screeching in silence, then through the gate of the park, up the hill, branches covering the footprints, the smell of horses from the riding center down below – I walked up to a bench in one of the squares, the world now watery and darker because of the sunglasses – a dog rushed by and put his paw on my foot, pierced my soul with his eyes, was whisked away by the voice of his master, just as a squirrel rattled in a whisper, fast, along a twig of a big tree. Coming, I didn’t hear them, and then gone, I saw that. It sounded like they all knew.
The day my dog died, they – for I wasn’t there – brought her back from the vet in a comforter that was blue and red. They put her on the living room couch, which is yellow, and waited a while, for they did know what to do but held on and bit the time that was passing, hoping, I can only guess, that those sealed eyes would break open and it was a miracle and all that would follow. Then, some time gone by, they picked her up and carried her down, out the back door of the basement into the garden, laid her gently onto the green grass and started shoveling to make a hole; they put her inside, wrapped in nothing because nature was back to nature, and then, I think, with their hands began piling dirt on top of her body and a plant that was someplace nearby was uprooted and replanted over her, with a little other flower, which was pink, and another one, which was orange, and yet another, which was white and light-blue. It was the beginning of June, and the ground was wet, the earth dark brown almost black, and the sun was shining – and all of these colors were resplendent.
The day my dog died, I (temporarily) lost my faith in atheism. I struggled with the notion that where she is now there’s none of us to be with her – but there isn’t such a place! – and on I cried knowing she was lonely, like us around the house feeling it empty, and I whispered, laying my hand on the warm earth after travelling miles to see her resting place in the backyard near the persimmon tree, on the edge of a little valley so that opening the shutters in the morning on the terrace we, the living, will say “Hi, Lucky” as if she’s running up from the garden, wait a few seconds, no, she’s not, I whispered “Don’t be afraid of loneliness.” and wished for only one other moment, one day, when I’m gone too – so unreal – that I can see her eyes again and we’ll go for a walk.