The Black Dog.

Drawn by cries in the night, the black dog shows its teeth.

The first time was at thirteen, the night I heard my mother’s chilling howl from downstairs where my grandmother slept, knew that our home had been visited by death and would never be the same.  My grief was natural.  But it didn’t ease, as the months passed.

Three weeks ago, I heard my next-door neighbors cry out in pain and horror, knew what that meant, even though I’d long since put down my phone.  It’s as though I’m thirteen again: an emotional hemophiliac, constantly bruised and breathless, weak and raw, unless I pull back into a shroud of black wool.  It’s too soon to know if this is grief or something worse.

In 2013 the black dog savaged me near to death, scared me into changing my life in a dozen important ways.  I’ve been doing well for three years, but the changes I made only mattered in a sane world; right now the dog’s teeth are sunk in so deeply that I just drag it from room to room.

If I stop moving, it doesn’t hurt so much.  But I know that’s how it gets you.  So onward I hobble, dragging a muscular carnivore by the teeth.

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