When I was in grammar school, the teachers would show us these films, short films, from Europe. You could tell it was Europe because everything looked real old. There was always a boy or girl about our age. In one of these movies, a kid has a little dog that follows him everywhere in the neighborhood. The kid is out of the house all day on his own. It looked like great fun. Then one morning the dog runs off, just disappears. The kid searches all over town for him. Just as he is about to give up, he sees the dog, his dog, at the feet of an old man in a cafe, one of those classic French geezers with the beret and the pencil thin mustache. The kid watches the old man delighting in his new friend. Then the kid smiles at the camera, at us, and walks away.
Years later in college, I read "The Stranger." Early in the book, the narrator meets a neighbor in the street, an old man, who has just lost his dog. The old man curses the dog, but later the narrator hears the old man sobbing in his room. I don't know why but I instantly thought of the kid in the movie. Perhaps the dog remembered the kid and went back home. I can't remember if I laughed or I cried at this thought. I've done both many times since then. That's how life is, my friend. Stories are ghosts that don't care when they haunt you. They'll even gang up if they need to.
28 October 2015