Updated: Jan 13
I returned home from a long day at work and noticed the living room window was open all the way and rattling from the wind of an impending storm.
Just then, my dog Daniel came into the room and I realized that no one had taken him for a walk all day and thought to myself how well trained he was to restrain himself for so many hours.
I ran over and quickly closed the window and took Daniel for a walk.
As we began our stroll, I realized I had forgotten to take bags to clean up after him, so I decided to go directly to an empty field where I could let Daniel run free and do his business without having to worry about cleaning up.
We kept walking and suddenly I found myself in a mountain village in the Alpujarra, near Granada, Spain (the setting of the “real-life” novel I’m currently writing).
We come to the top of a mountain and arrive at a post office sorting center with all kinds of antiquated machinery.
I figured it couldn’t hurt to walk through the postal facility as it would be easier to get home that way as opposed to having to walk all the way back down the mountain.
When I finally emerged at the other side of the facility, postal workers had begun arriving for their shift and there was a flourish of activity, hustle and bustle.
Just then I realized I must have left Daniel behind and would have to walk all the way back through the facility until I found him.
I was now accompanied by my youngest daughter and noticed we were both barefoot, so walking back down the mountain and around to the other side to find the dog wouldn’t be a practical option, so I decided to take a chance and simply walk back through the facility the way I came, hoping to run into Daniel along the way.
As we entered the facility, we were immediately stopped by an old civil servant, a balding man wearing a white, short-sleeved shirt and chewing on the unlit stub of a cigar.
The civil servant—who sat at a table with an older woman who was working at some small machine on the table—told us we couldn’t enter the facility, that it was private property and only postal workers were allowed on the premises.
I pleaded with the man who expressed sympathy once he heard my story about my lost dog. He quickly changed his attitude and told me we could walk through to the other side but stopped us in our tracks once he noticed we hadn’t any shoes on our feet and apologized saying we couldn’t go any further as it was expressly prohibited to enter the facility without shoes.
Then I woke up.
[Photo: Daniel and me, Green Lake, Wisconsin, October 1995]