I woke up earlier than the usual, and it felt odd. Odder still was that the last vivid memory I could muster of the previous night’s revelry was of someone running around in the open space, hands extended to her sides, carefree of anything that might pluck her into the corners of the dark. I smiled at the thought.
The sunlight that spilled in the village seemed golden at this moment. A reflection of the workshop’s gilded age? A dreg of last night’s last drink doing tricks to my eyes? A dream within a dream? I closed my eyes, opened them, and knew Sundays in some secret spots of some southern provinces still hold paradise. I became too accustomed to the beige and mirrors of the corporate world I almost forgot the color of grass, and the way its blades brush the heels of my feet. I ran to my room, took my camera, and photographed the quietness that surrounded me.
An event could differ from several perspectives. Some demand fireworks to capture and reflect the grandness of the celebration. Some pine for excessive indulgence. But on this Sunday, despite the sumptuous pasta dishes and salad prepared (and promised) by Tobey, Andy, and Tin, the family that gathered in one cottage for lunch served as one unforgettable occasion that needed no blaring trumpets.
Rarely have I been so affectionate to dogs. I loved a few in my younger days but not as much as how I preferred cats. Their high-minded demeanor and graceful sways draw me to them. After all, winning their trust makes the relationship of man and animal all the more precious. “This cat loves me!” is one kind of accomplishment so hard to expound, one that only a fellow feline-lover would understand. But the village was teeming with dogs, and I couldn’t just disregard how they ran and barked and bounced all over the place.
One in particular was this canine the fellows called Dogge. (Yes, what a creative way to name a dog, especially for writers who pronounce it "doog-geh"). The origin of his name was particularly dim in my memory, but what was clear was that, hands down, Dogge was the kindest dog I met. Those eyes justify what people always say about puppy eyes. Like someone who momentarily lost his sense of sanity, I spoke to myself while massaging his back, “He’s like a cat!”
Whether the young dog was insulted by my remark or not, Dogge stood still for a couple of minutes, and then laid his head on my knees. I was surprised by this almost non-animal act. I reached for him again and rubbed the brows of his eyes. He accepted it nicely. I guess I found a cat in a dog’s body.
(third of eight parts)