A man began to howl outside around 3:30 am. The moon was not full. He sounded more odd than in pain. “Ooooo, Owwooo”,he yelped, every couple of minutes, getting closer, in front of the house, moving away. If I were more of a writer I would have gotten up to take a look but I’m really just an anxious depressed person who writes to get perspective. My immediate desire was to howl back. I like howling.
I was known for my provocative howls as a tour guide on the train coming back from Fairbanks. Just outside of Anchorage, we would pull over on a siding to let a freight pass. Usually passenger trains have the right of way but sometimes freights are pretty long and as we got there first, we would wait. My voice was miked to the smoking deck so when I started barking, the nearby sled dog yard came to life. The dogs would climb on top of their houses and howl. The tourists thought it was hysterical. I always got a little scared that someone would come out with a shotgun but they never did.
Last night I didn’t think my neighbors would shoot me, but they might be pushed over the top if two people were howling. I restrained myself. He could be my newspaper delivery person having a little fun or maybe howling just makes this person feel good. This could be a new way to begin Superbowl weekend. It could also be a trap. Maybe they see my light is on and they’re coming for me.
This last thought occurs to me often. Sleeping with the light reminds me of a sunny day at Singing Beach when I was young and able to fall asleep on a whim. If I can’t sleep I can see the glow through my eyelids and almost hear the seagulls. My window doesn’t even face the street. A person would have to jump a fence then wade through 3 feet of snow to get there. I get a bit paranoid when I’m stressed or tired. I confess I turned off the light, hid under the covers and listened. The howler didn’t stop at my window last night.
On my way out today, I walked within petting distance of a lady moose sitting by the road. I didn’t see her until we were pretty much looking each other in the eye. I recognized her as the moose who was at my bus stop yesterday. She lives here but I don’t really think about her until she pops up in my path. On my way back in, I saw a man pass by my house going one way, then back again. He looked as if he lived outside. He wasn’t howling but I didn’t ask him if he could. I avoided him as if he was the moose. I see people who remind me of this man everyday, on the bus, at work, downtown. I’m a friendly person but sometimes I’m afraid. I want to feel safe in my neighborhood. Feeling safe shouldn’t mean hiding with my head under the covers. My anxiety is starting to let me know I need to ask for help. If I want to help someone, I can ask someone else to help me. If I’m not sure I’m doing the right thing I can ask for spiritual guidance. I may not have a car but I don’t have to carry my life on my back, I might not be able to sleep but at least I don’t have to walk around all night to keep warm. This afternoon I told my roommate about the howling man. He didn’t hear him. My roommate is in the military. If howling man comes by again I might wake Robin up to meet our neighbor.