Since Ken brought Duncan home seven years ago we have only been apart five nights total, three of them while I was in Atlanta that afternoon when I first got sick. With the exception of two random nights since, we have always been together. I don't know what last night was like for him but I'd like to imagine that he curled up with Ken and the cats and didn't notice my absence at all, that this morning Ken rose early and took him for a nice, long walk in the park and they played away the morning. Nothing would make me happier.
I know what the night was like for me, though. It was spent on a red-eye from Denver to Newark sitting next to my mother, looking out the window at the orange, halogen blobs of lights of unnamed cities rising up and falling away in the darkness below us, thinking of him, feeling everything very clearly, alternately overjoyed and exhausted. I wished he was there with me, resting at my feet waiting to step outside, stretch his legs and resume our walks in whatever place his feet touched down. He would not be picky but excited at the prospect of a new journey, heedless of the destination.
It is strange not having him here, strange seeing other people on the streets of Buffalo walking their dogs. These next few days are ones that won't require me to rise early, put on my shoes, take him outside and look after his every need. But I know he is safe with Ken, probably excited to have the opportunity to coax his dad into giving him more treats than I do, to take advantage of every possible situation, to sneak up on the couch and spend the afternoon sleeping without the risk of being caught by his papa.
When I do return I hope he sees the courage in me, the kind that's been lacking since he was less than a year old. I hope he senses the change in me for facing my long-festering fear and conquering it. I hope he is waiting at the door, the shredded remnants of his favorite toy, the little green frog given to us by one of our blog friends last year, clutched in his smiling mouth, his tail thumping out a sporadic but joyous beat. I hope he will be as happy to see me as I certainly will be to see him.
*This post was written on my brand new iPad from my hotel room in East Aurora, New York. The formatting looks to be all screwy, at least on my end. I apologize if you're seeing one big, long, unjustified, jumbled paragraph. Trust me, that's not how it was written. Bear with me and I'll get everything fixed as soon as I can. In the meantime, does anyone have any suggestions on the best way to blog on an iPad? This obviously is not going to work!