Where Time is Water

by Jon Lasser

Dog time is water. Incidents bob near the surface, fall into whirlpools, sink or drift with the flow. They betray no order but the rush into a future soon past.

Human time filters through an hourglass. Polished grains of memory trickle through the chamber's neck to land atop a sand dune built of moments.

She dreams of her senior prom. Of her dress, of Jerry wriggling in his tuxedo like a snake ready to shed its skin, of the limousine, resinous smoke, sweet air from the cracked-open window.

He sleeps curled on the floor. His legs twitch, as though he swims. He whines, but does not wake. He barks, mewling dream barks, then is borne along by river time.

He barks, which wakes her. Smoke, limousine, tuxedo, Jerry, dress. Atop these specks, the dune. Where is Jerry now? Last she heard — a late-night phone call four years ago — he was drunk, thinking of leaving his wife. She was thinking of leaving her husband. She wonders if he did, too.

He barks again, comes half-awake. She pats the bed, two beats. He jumps up, then falls asleep again, curled on the sheets. She puts an arm over him and follows to the place where time is water.