Pups at the Playground: A Parable In my halcyon days, I'd walk my pups to the nearby playground, unhook their leashes, and off they'd go. Badger chasing Dingo, the two herders weaving serpentine paths around and through the slides, tunnels and ladders. For all of Badger's tenacity, Dingo's speed is his advantage, and his pursuer drops back, while I stand and watch. Dingo then pauses, as if asking aloud 'Did I lose him?' He darts his eyes left to right to left, anxiously sniffing the air for that scent, then looks to me for validation, just as Badger strikes from a blind spot, and that's the chase. Maybe this is another of my distortions, a projection of 'temet nosce', some sort of fantasy or allegory wherein I'm merely a contrivance meant to testify to the hunt, the hunter, and the hunted, and to intervene just before the kill. It's simple psychology. Sanity offers no solace in its rebuff of such deus ex machina, only a solemn reminder there are no such things as gods, or redemption, or escape from the truth of one's own nature. No one watches over me. No one steps in before the chase gets out-of-hand. Not even she. It's simple philosophy. This ceaseless crying out 'How?' and 'Why?' over and over (the abyss *still* has no answer) This incurable cancer of conviction, this clinging on, it's all so futile, but it's all I know. Branded by my inborn beliefs in love, in family, in my purpose, and in my promise; damned by desperate wishes for mercy, for absolution, for the leap *to* faith, that she doubt her doubts, (the only doubt that saves) that I am allowed that chance to change: from possibility to actuality, from 'could be' to 'now am', and sweep all before under the rug of 'once was'. This sickness, this stubborn insubordination of Fate, in spite of losing everything, now leaves me hollowed, transparent, an empty space left to the horrible whims of nature. And nature abhors a vacuum. Horror vacui. It's simple physics. © Isaak F.