I was walking up the path from the S.U.B to my dorm, when, illuminated by the light of the lamps above, I saw the water-prints of a dog’s paws upon the pavement. Naturally, I followed the tracks, which took me past my dorm. Turning on my phone’s flashlight, for the light grew dim, I walked the path the dog had walked. Sometimes, its paw-prints would disappear into the grass, at which point I wouldn’t be able to see them anymore; but before long, they reappeared, as if the dog’s owner pulled the dog back onto the path, as if he didn’t want to get his feet wet.

The tracks eventually began to disappear, a result of, what I believe to be, the drying of the dog’s feet. I followed them to the Field House, at the edge of campus, where the paw-prints ceased. I looked around to see if I could track the dog any further. I couldn’t.

I’ve never had a dog. But my grandparents had some and so did an aunt and an uncle of mine. Whenever my family visited, my sister and I would always play with the dogs before we would enter the house. Some, if not all, of them have passed away by now, with nothing left of them but the memory of their wet paws on the sidewalk. And even those disappear.

I turned and walked to my dorm.

It’s all in the past, where it’s safe.