Clearly, the dog is the key. He answers to Otis these days, and we met under circumstances that would try anyone’s patience. Of course, both of us being somewhat unusual, the circumstances were a catalyst to friendship. Several months have passed since the elevator, and neither of us is eager to return to that building, or really discuss what happened.
Otis has had other names, and has wandered in and out of other’s stories for at least as long as I have. Neither of us admit our true ages readily. But George and his crew are birds of a feather (some of his crew literally are birds, mind you) and with some coaxing he has told us some of his tale. For the past several decades he has little memory to share. As his true nature surfaces, it reveals details that hint at some vendetta against him. He has memories of shadowy figures, but can’t name or describe them.
He does recall spending time in the company of witches and later at least one voodoo queen, but the details are as murky to him today as the swamp they lived in and around. George and I have decided not to press him for details as the memories are not comfortable to him. The birds are sure he is important to our larger problems, but when pressed for details, they get unusually silent, then change the subject. Flighty birds. The cats are keeping their own council too.
So Otis has found a home in our strange little community, and is finding the space needed to turn away from whatever witchcraft clouded his past and look forward with hope and optimism.