Thursday, May 06, 2010

6. Imagine

Imagine if this were my garden.

Actually, it is my garden.

Now imagine Charlie and me having a picnic here, maybe filling up the paddling pool, or playing a spaceship game.

And all the time the dog next door is growling.

Every time we go into the garden, the dog next door is there - right at the fence - and the growling starts low then it rises and rises into a fierce, frantic bark, then descends again into a low, ferocious growl that goes on and on, and sometimes the anger gets too much for the dog and he throws himself against the fence.

We glance at each other, Charlie and I, when that happens — the loud thud — then we turn back to our game.

Sometimes we call out. ‘It’s okay! We live here! You remember us?’ But that only makes it worse. So mostly we pretend nothing’s happening. We offer one another imaginary cups of tea, and we repair space ships, or water the garden, and the growling and the thudding go on.

Now and then we look up at the fence. The state of the fence.