After we realized that we couldn't avoid forclosure, my wife arranged for us to move in with some friends of hers in a remote house in the Lehigh Valley. It was while she was there, making preparations for the move, that she (and they) were informed that the house was scheduled for demolition, and that both households would have to find new quarters.
A frantic search eventually resulted in the purchase of an astonishingly low-cost house in McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania, just outside of Pittsburgh. And so it was that around 11:30 AM on the morning on October 10, we packed up the last of our belongings and left Newport for the last time, mere minutes before our street was closed off by the Columbus Day Parade.
Due to the odd circumstances surrounding the move, our first day's journey ended at the remote house in the Lehigh Valley late in the afternoon. By the time we had ordered a dinner of take-out pizza, night had fallen. I was ready for bed then, but the basenjis needed one last walk for the night, and so I took them.
It was overcast that night, and there were absolutely no street lights along the thousand-foot driveway leading from the house to the nearest road. Dark woods lined both sides of the driveway, and what sounded like a million birds filled them with noise. The basenjis were two dark shapes moving back and forth across the driveway, most of their motion filled in by my mind's eye from memories of a thousand such walks in the bright Newport sunshine. On each side were strange new scents to be sampled, and sample them they did. The only distinct features I could make out were the white fur of Louis' collar and legs; everything else was shadows against the deeper dark of the night.
We went slowly down the driveway to the road, and then just as slowly back up again. The dogs had all the opportunity they needed to relieve themselves for the night, though the darkness kept me from learning whether they had taken advantage of it. Then we were back in the house, and it was time for me to sleep, momentarily suspended between past and future.