I have changed a lot over the course of my absence. Even though it appears I am only writing to myself, I feel that it’s necessary to approach this change with some sort of affirmation.

Change is a strange thing, and it took a dream, at least for me, to unleash the desires that were masked underneath the veil of my consciousness. This was the dream:

"Extact the spikes"

"Extract the spikes"

My vision was blurry, hazy, I can only could only make out a light grey mist around me. I rub my eyes, trying to ‘wake up’ so I can reset this boring dream. But the mist begins to clear and a lush green yard laid before me. I stood idle, wondering, trying to figure out what the hell was going on…

I look down and saw was a blanket of spikes, and immediately questioned: “What the…?”

I saw past the spikes and saw a tongue swaying; left to right, left to right, as a smudge of spit instantly moistens and sticks to my leg. I remember hearing my right eyebrow curl upwards in curiosity… Or was it disgust? I forget, it’s a dream for one thing.

I reached down, anxiously staring at the pink pendulum. I wanted to touch it, I wanted to hold the spikes, something was urging me to pet the damn thing.  I guess it was my curiosity, since that forced my hand upon the spikes. Surprisingly they were smooth, silky, yet coarse. I continued to touch the quills until the thing freaked out and in quick succession it’s face turned towards me. I freaked the fuck out and fell to the ground as it excitingly began to jump and bark. (I never had a saliva shower in a dream before, so that’s a first)

The creature began to running back and forth, jumping on me and falling to the ground. I remember the blanket of spikes: they were idle, fallen, relaxed, while they clanked against his skin as if it were chain mail.

I was amazed, so amazed, it was such a strange animal. It had the body of a dark golden retriever with the spiky protrusions only a porcupine could have. I couldn’t take my eyes off of it as it continued to stare at me and smile. Though the image didn’t last as a thick cloud of smoke began to consume my site until the final drops of drool from his tongue was the only sight I could see; until it too had disappeared.

Few moments pass, I was wondering what the hell was wrong with my eyes. I rubbed them, and the clouds began to clear. Easy enough…

I could finally see again, yet my friend was gone. I cried out to the white desolate landscape: “Where are you! PLEASE, DON’T LEAVE ME.” (I had so many questions). It was hard to understand what connection I drew from that short experience, but I continued to scream and shout, unknowing if it will ever bark back. I fell to the floor and began to mourn for my lost porcupine dog thing; until something slimy licked my leg. I turned around in astonishment and was met with disappointment. It was him, except his spikes were gone. Out of the midst came a shadowy female figure, her fists were clenching a pair of sheers. She waved and told me she cut off the spikes, making him more beautiful.

I stared down at him, I saw the brilliance of his sheen dark coat. But, he was no longer my ‘porcudog’, he was just a dog now… I kneeled down as I looked closer at his mane, I touched it, and it glowed, it defied logic as it reflected in the absence of light. I began to stare closer, holding a patch of his hair in my fist.

But, I could feel he was growing timid, scared, the vibrant shaking of agony that reverberated through my hand. My face began to clench, as my mouth began to idle, and I felt tearing… My hand began sinking as he slowly began to curl up into a ball. Than out of his sparkling mane arose the cut, maimed spikes. I pushed back as the gore began to arise from his skin, the spikes were regrowing, but it wasn’t the same as before; they were sparse, coarse, and spread unevenly throughout his body. I looked towards him as his tongue was no where to be seen. I desperately tried to see if I could help him, in a way, comfort him. I began petting and careening my hand over spikes, gently holding one within my fingers. I gently massaged the coarse tip as it nicked my skin; I began to bleed. Though, amidst the bloodshed, I didn’t mind it, in fact I embraced it. A smile emerged as the blood soaked quill began to feel smooth, sheen, it brought back memories to when we first met. I began enjoying the uneven spikes, more so than the illuminating mane.

While petting, I thought: Why change something good, something internalized? When there is pressure to cause changes, something fake covers; yet the glimpses of ‘good’ can pierce through the fake and catch your attention. Perhaps, that is the only good you may know…

I looked down at my friend, as he looked up with his large brown eyes and tongue flailing outwardly. I loved him.

I was never happy until the day I found myself. People say change is good and marks progression, I don’t think this is true for out inner-selves. Environmental pressures construct anxieties that you try to mask with your personal affluence, yet will the change still mask those tensions? It takes a personal journey to truly find oneself, and I hope this is my final journey, so I may go beyond the linear progression of change; to begin and transcend. Welcome to the new chapter, a new chapter amidst the old.