The dog that follows me is not always black.
Sometimes I don’t even see it as a colour as such, more of a presence waiting in the wings, ready to pounce when I least expect it.
I liken it to a storm that’s brewing as a cluster of clouds form overhead, threatening to let their watery cargo fall to earth with great force and destruction.
Dramatic as that may seem, when the world stops spinning for a second and the realisation sets in that rain is on the way, there’s always a strange lull before the onslaught begins.
The undermining bleak aura fills the air, sucking all the life out of everything it touches. Turning yellow into grey and laughter into tears, it sweeps in and destroys happy safe thoughts with one swipe of its huge, bloody claw.
If I listen carefully I can hear the dog snarl and snap as it comes closer to me. It doesn’t care about the destruction it causes as it looms into view or the mess it leaves behind as it heads onwards to its next victim, a shadow of itself forever imprinted on my mind, reminding me of it all at every turn.
I’m lucky to have a salvageable gap between despair and freedom. A small slither of light that guides me home every time the dog appears. I wait for those who aren’t so lucky, I hold out a hand to guide them in but they never appear, they’re lost in the ether of the darkness that dog brings.
A familiar door is closed gently behind me and I can breathe again.