Counting Dogs, Burning Bridges


I’m dreaming. I’m in a house. Under the stairs things are stored. It’s messy. I pull out a long blue hosepipe. I walk to the kitchen and head outside into the rain my hair, and water obscure my vision.

I can hear the chimes of an ice cream van, someone is optimistic. I walk towards the sound it’s hard to see, I’m naked in the rain.

I realise I’m naked, and turn round to go home. A police car stops me. As we talk a half-man satyr and his naked female trainer run past. I argue with the cops “that’s okay, this isn’t?”.

I’m back inside. There’s a comedy performance. First up is a man writing complex maths on a huge blackboard. He says, “If you don’t understand maths, or need a device to do simple calculations, I pity you”.

I’m trying to calculate the solution as he writes. I decide to take a guess if he asks the audience, trusting to chance.

There’s food. We take a break. I eat a huge German sausage, aware that Steve will make a Freudian joke about it. Everyone else is vegetarian. They don’t seem to have a sense of humour.

We return to our seats. Two trained dogs tap out what they think the answer is. The one near me is right. I fuss him and congratulate him. I want to fuss his brother too, but the calculating dog demands all my attention.

I think their trainer is up to no good. I flee the house, leaving behind my coat and wallet. As I walk I meet a couple walking dogs. They met through the people whose house I was just at, they advise me to ask them to match me up.

I return to the house. It is gone. Replaced by a german cast iron bridge, topped with stone, the metal still burning from the transformation. I prise open the stones, and squeeze inside. A couple of old men talk about how people don’t like the fairy tale disappearing house thing any more. I see myself. I’m off to a rave, with a bottle of whiskey. I’ve never grown up and settled down.

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