It's afternoon and I cannot concentrate, lost in a time loop of every loss ever, a sadness that feels real but is more likely exhaustion from staying out late so I decide to take a nap. But the dog upstairs is barking, barking, barking, barking, howling, and after about twenty minutes a neighbor opens her door and shouts SILENCE! The word reverberates in the hall, louder than the dog's bark, I can almost feel the vibration against the wall, which is against the head of my bed, which is the end of nap time, and I get up, and make coffee against the sleepiness that I have failed to kill naturally, and I feel like I've been tired forever but of course that is not true, it just feels true.
And the dog upstairs is barking again now after about ten minutes of silence, barking and howling, and twenty minutes of barking and howling pass and I've finished my coffee and started to work and the neighbor opens her door and shouts SILENCE and I think the whole day will be loops like this. I remind myself that every moment is really just a moment, just standing there alone, disconnected by time and space from other moments, even if it looks the same; I also remind myself that those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it, and I have to think about that, the same as I do every time this thought loops through my brain: the truth of now and the truth of history. I don't even have time to think about the future.
And in the time it has taken me to forget to work, lost in pondering, the dog upstairs is barking again, barking and barking and howling, how can they leave him alone all day, and the neighbor shouts again, and I consider posting a sign in the building vestibule pointing out that the dog does not probably understand the language of humans, or in any case, doesn't understand or remember that silence now means silence forever. I often pretend to not understand the language of humans as well, although I am terrible about forgetting or pretending to forget, because I always remember.
Of course in addition to forgetting that someone told him to stop barking, he also forgets that his owner is coming home ever, which is why after a brief pause he is barking again, barking at the wind, howling at his fear of being alone forever, barking and howling. I had an interesting conversation with his owner, who swears it is not her dog who cries all day, not her dog being shouted at, but one of the other dogs in the building. And to be fair when this one gets really frantic he can set them all off; if for example you come home late and drop your keys in the hallway the whole building erupts in terror and defensive maneuvers. But right now it's just this one dog, barking and howling at his absolute abandonment, because he doesn't remember how this morning he was loved and I think that maybe living in the moment has greater disadvantages than living with a brain full of memory loops, and the neighbor opens her door and shouts SILENCE and I get my earplugs out and go back to work.