There are few things in life as satisfying as seeing a dog sticking its head out of a car window – only perhaps the feeling when you find yourself an amazing flat in Bristol after months of postulation, deliberation and stagnation. This week has seen both for me. I feel that is necessary to first clarify that I am no dog lover; I am not the kind of man who gets excited about or by dogs. There are no cutesy canine books on my shelves, no market stall fleeces adorned with dogs in my wardrobe and I would no sooner let a dog lick or kiss my face than I would eat my own heart. Yet, the moment a dog sticks its head out of a car window and opens its jaws wide, letting its tongue flop out to accommodate the full rush of oncoming air, I am completely floored.
It’s not often in life that you get to witness guilt-free pleasure; those moments when you experience something so invigorating, so organic that it strips away all the layers of bullshit, leaving nothing but the trembling brighter than bright blue flash of life. Seeing my friend Elliott’s dog Leo stick his head out of the back window when we hit the dual carriageway, watching as his face turned to a stormy sea of jowly flesh and ecstasy was one such moment. Later in the day in an attempt to reconnect with the high, I ate a battered, deep-fried Mars bar from a tiny high street fish and chip shop – it didn’t even come close.
As for the flat, well, it’s in Bristol, high above the concrete, light, warm yet cool, oh so cool. It goes without saying that it will financially cripple me, but then that’s a small price to pay for a space in which to form a stronger, smarter, more dynamic version of myself. Now the rain has set in, turning everything shades of grey. Constantly surrounded by wetness, it becomes insignificant whether it is still raining or not (the chances are it is); dampness through osmosis fills you, becomes your mood and you know there is no way that dogs actually do that thing they do. I can’t even recall what a battered Mars bar felt like coursing through my veins. All I know is that the four walls of my new life await, currently unoccupied, fighting off the rain alone.
To read more adventures with Elliott and Leo the dog, check out Two Cocks in the Country – a West Country romp.