Billy opened the sliding screen door and the young dog bolted out and turned and stood waiting. The old dog was the one Billy had on a leash so that it’s knee could heal, and they stepped gingerly out of the door and onto the earth and started walking around the house and up into the woods. Him and the old dog reached the small field behind the house and looked up into the forest, the young dog running frantic above them following the invisible footprints that appeared overnight. Dublin, the old dog, looked eagerly, sniffed around and then peed, and then headed up the hillside to the woods with Billy behind him.
Billy looked up too, and he saw the rising sun that had crested behind the three of them over the mountains to the east and how it started to shine on the treetops above the field, and on the cliff that he could see through the slowly illuminating trees.
He thought of how the sun rises sometimes and how it sometimes feels so good on his back, and that today was one of those sometimes. But that sometimes – most times, actually – it rose and didn’t feel good at all, it felt like burning and a blinding light everytime he looked up from the ground, and it made his eyes hurt and his head hurt too, made his skin red and hurt to the touch. He thought that sometimes, his days were all against him, from the sun on down, and how sometimes – most times, actually – he wished the sun wouldn’t rise at all, and that he wouldn’t rise either, but that he would settle into the undergrowth decaying in the forests, pissed on by the so many things that lived rightfully in the woods. Wished that he would settle in deeply, without being passed by the sunrise, or the light of the day, and neither by the darkness of night.
But today the morning was not one of those frequent sometimes, and today the sun felt like a warm, dry bath and the forest was likewise a benevolent and embracing thing. Dublin sniffed the dry wild grasses and watched the young dog tearing back and forth through the trees. He sat down facing the sun and leaned against Billy’s leg, and when Billy didn’t respond the dog looked up and nudged Billy’s hand with his nose. Billy looked down at Dublin and sat down on the cool ground beside him and scratched his chest and stomach, and Dublin leaned even more against Billy’s leg.