We are wandering inside a tomb searching for a torch or some kind of magic light switch that we can use to help us find the way home.
The problem is it is too dark to make out shapes or discern where things end and begin so it is slow going because moving too quickly has caused us to stumble and rap our shins and or bruise multiple body parts in ways that will be remembered if we get out of here.
This is the moment in which minutes are magnified and we cannot breathe because something is drawing the oxygen from our lungs.
We close our eyes and try to rely upon other senses thinking there are options and solutions and it works to an extent.
There is laughter and there is noise from close by that suggests there is joy but we are locked inside this place and the joy is not something we get to share in today
Maybe another day, but today it is close enough to hear but far enough away not to be enjoyed.
We aren’t standing in the dark, we are inside the darkness.
Somewhere in the dark I hear a familiar sound, a short bark and breathing I recognize.
The Big Lug is here but it seems impossible because he left almost a decade ago.
“Did you bring dad with you or are you at least keeping him company? I promise I am not too old to run with you, just get us out of here.”
I feel something smack my leg and my side and remember a tail like a whip and a snout that would force itself because your body and your arm.
My old friend, the ghost dog would be the one to cross over and jump through the veil to lead us out. I have always known he would protect us with his life and now in death it seems he is trying to fulfill a charge never given to him.
“Buddy, I am so much older than I was when we first me, about twice as old. Do you recognize me by scent? Has to be, because I don’t look as I used to. I am weathered and there is gray in my beard.”
He doesn’t answer and for a moment I am sure he is gone when I catch that familiar sound just ahead of me.
I follow it but I never do find him again and now I wonder if I am losing my mind or if somehow I called down the lightning and moved heaven closer to earth.
There is a familiar ache that clarifies that I am not yet dead, at least I hope not because my belief is that we either move on to a better place or gradually turn to dust.
Either way it seems to me there shouldn’t be any pain and between the heart ache and physical stuff it seems like I am probably still breathing.
The old man says about something about being whipped and I say you know cats are trouble.
It is an echo from the past and a memory of time gone by. I tell him I am not particularly fond of this time and he asks if anyone is.
“Give me your best advice.”
“It is probably going to take just as long to climb out as it did to fall in and the solution will likely be something you can’t figure out on your own. My dad would have a better idea but he is not here so we are stuck.”
“Grandpa might have a better idea, but you are right, he is not here. What am I supposed to do with your passing the buck?”
He shrugs his shoulders and offers a few more words.
“Don’t give up, not on this.”
I nod my head, take a deep breath and keep going.
It is still dark but maybe there is a hint of sunlight. Been so long it is hard to be certain, but maybe that silhouette is proof of a change in light or maybe I have finally fallen down the side of the mountain and the game is over.
Guess I’ll check to see if anything hurts and if I feel pain assume I am still breathing.