This morning a hot air balloon flies low over the house, carrying supplies for the movie set that I know is just around the corner. The operator is flying recklessly—I see just the metal bottom, uncomfortably close, from near my window. I worry it’s going to pass over the roof, scrape itself, collapse something, knock it over—and I brace for impact.
But nothing follows. My door opens and closes of its own accord. I am half-asleep, awake but hallucinating. I become conscious that Mowat is in the crook of my arm, resting peacefully against my chest. I’m afraid to disturb him, so happy that he’s there. I touch his fur and it is perfect, warm, vivid—my little friend.
He turns and bites my thumb. I am worried that the dream will turn—but the bite is not hard, or it’s hard but just hard enough. The pain is real. He fades away, and I discover that I haven’t, exactly, been dreaming, though I could not say with certainty whether I have been awake.