Animals roam the streets, howling at each other loudly; their chatter a plethora of nonsensical sounds vibrating amongst themselves. Maybe I'm one of them - the way I live around here. I scrounge food wherever I can; stealing from bins, or shops; begging for food and drink. But, what can I do? Not all of us get to live in those big houses, being waited on hand and foot. Food, water, a place to stay - these are the things that I dream of.
I spread my body across the concrete and imagine. My imagination mutes my reality and I am where I want to be. This is where I should be.
Here, I am human. I am an equal. Fresh water, cooked food, and toys to play with. People talk to me; I make them happy and they make me happy too.
I'm free to take a walk around a park, a clean man, without the urge to roam bins or find shelter. I'm healthy and beautiful. I'm blissfully content.
My problems have faded to what am I going to do today?; what am I to eat?; who am I going to see? I like it this way and don't take it for granted.
A boot to the stomach and I'm awake. Conscious in reality. I'm unclean and dressed in the dirt of the asphalt I sleep in. I'm hungry - it's been hours since I ate. There's a man in uniform, standing over me, stradling me, with his hand around the back of my neck. He's taking me away.
He's dragging me to a van gracefully when a thought passes through my mind: maybe I didn't wake up. This is still a dream, and I'm being taken to a better place.
In this best-case-scenario the man feels sympathy for me, and his compassionate heart compelled him to save me. He's taking me on a journey away from my reality and into my dream. He sees my potential, behind sorrow of circumstance. He wants to make it better. He wants to make us equal.
But I can never be equal. I am a dog.