On a visit home from college this summer, I awake in a cold sweat, teeth loose and aching from clenching for hours as I labored through a bad dream. My dad strokes my hair. My dog licks my face. "It was only a dream," they reassure me. "Sometimes," I tell them, "it's not about the dream." The dream is just a reminder of uncertainty, of a lack of control over my own subconscious. Like a wolf nipping at my heels, it seems to slowly gnaw away my base, my security.
It exhausts and derails me, but it is a work day, and I have a long drive to campus ahead of me. So I get in my car, and I set out. I am almost to the exit of my neighborhood when I see the tracksuit, my friend, panting, still ready with a smile and a wave. A reminder that some things in life do remain constant.
My friend still walks, and I still stand.