Now, unlike others I can’t say I live only in the present, memories and hopes keep me constantly alive in the past and the future. Maybe you’re like me in that respect, maybe not. But, I can say no matter how you warm-up to such a view you can’t deny that certain experiences have the unique attack of catching you in a way so as to make your whole outlook seem completely out of sync with what you thought you had a grasp on. Even if it that grasp is a nimble one, it’s a grasp; your grasp, my grasp, and nevertheless a faithful calming grasp that lingers on.
My encounter with the wolf has shaken my reality, but not in a dreadful way, but simply a way in which I feel more at one with the forest than ever before. As if I’ve being shown the true nature of Jacobs Pass, its true peacefulness and singleness.
As I glimpse the first sight of my cabin ¬the dogs come rushing around from the right of the porch in full stride and come to a startling halt that fills the surrounding air with dust from their sudden surprise of seeing me. The looks of their body language suggests that they’re sorry for not meeting me when I hit our trail back home. Top raises his head, but his eyes lower; I take this as an apology. He then looks back up at me and begins to stroll towards me as if to let me know that such a thing will never happen again.
I realize from their pace back this way they must have been chasing something that in the direction they came from wasn’t quite fast enough to out run them but clever enough to hold them back if they got too close, they must have decided to give up and come back. I can’t help but wonder what the chased creature could have been.
With my bag finally digging a little too deep into my shoulders, I head for my door and place the thing on the porch. A few clings of glass let me know my arms have become tired and that I should be more careful with my new fill.
The dogs ramble around in a motion I’m sure they understand but comes across as confusion to me. Top’s the closest to me and he’s wagging his tail in what seems like a gesture of a good deed done well. Again, what the deed was I’m unable to understand but his gestures say more than words.
When you’re not around people very often you begin to pick up on animal nuances that fit human reactions or is it human nuances that fit animal reactions, anyway right now Top is beaming with pride.
Then I see it.
And I realize why the dogs weren’t there to meet me on the trail. Now my pistol is out as quick as I can get it out, not pointing in any direction but out anyhow in case the cowardly bastard is still watching, but my mind calms realizing that if the dead soul was anywhere around the dogs would be on a straight line to him.
There, tacked to my door is a note.
Some son-of-a-bitch has been here!
Invaded my space; my solitary world: My home.
Anyone in their right mind could tell from coming across a cabin such as this and it being this far out in the forest that it’s not inhabited by a man that is up for social niceties.
The placement of the note is in itself infuriating but combined with the thought of someone standing on my porch and those words burned into the paper by the hand of someone knowing too much about something that has nothing to do with them causes these lines to smolder deeper into my awareness, deep enough for me to pull the hammer back on my pistol and shoot twice into the air which sends the dogs running a
nd my mind spinning.
If you want to find your father
Stop looking and open your eyes
Ripping the note down and clenching it tight in my hand, I turn again to the forest that now hides a dead man that isn’t yet aware his future has been greatly diminished.
“You are now a dead man!” I yell in no particular direction. “Show yourself! You’re a coward and very stupid my friend. You just shortened your life by many years.”
It’s the same forest that holds my hopes of finding a supposed dead man alive, my father, and now also holds a living man carrying on his shoulders my prospects of killing him.
My grasp on the world has just tightened, tightened more than I’d ever have wished it to, tightened more than I thought it ever could. I catch myself wondering what the black wolf would do, whatever it was I’m sure it would be swift and exact.