I like the open spaces here. I like them, but I don't trust them. I never feel safe, exactly. Who says the clouds won't fall? Look how heavy they look, after all. And who says there isn't someone in the brush off to the left, watching? Who says there isn't someone behind me, behind the fence and its NO TRESPASSING sign, waiting?
Still, I feel safer here than I did in the city. I have my red dog—my second red dog, what are the odds—and she stays close. You can't say that about everyone. I firmly reject the metaphor "the black dog of depression." The dogs are the only antidote to the shadows always lurking in the periphery of this thing of mine, this thing best referred to as a life, until it becomes a death. The dogs—their fur, vomit, urine, feces—I will always choose them over a clean house. I am grateful that they choose me back. This is the closest I will come to "safe."