A weird wind howled across the landscape. The man stood, clutching the neck of his coat and wrapping his scarf tighter. He’d lost his way during a walk through the woods and came out on an unfamiliar street, a street with no lights, no houses or other forms of habitation in sight. He was alone, alone with only the wind for company. The weird sounds pierced his memory of other nights he’d found himself in similar situations. Where was he? Why was he here? Why did it seem that he’d been here before and yet there was nothing familiar, nothing to guide him home. Nothing and no one. A weird wind howled as he started walking.
Then a memory. He’d been walking through the woods. He’d been walking the other times. The only thing that connected in his brain was walking. Walking where?
“Wake up,” a stranger said, shaking his shoulder.
“Where am I?” the man asked.
“Don’t you know?” the stranger asked.
The man felt in his pockets and found nothing – no identification, no indication of his address. All he knew was that he was obviously far away from home and he had no idea how he’d gotten there.
“You were sleep-walking,” the stranger said. “Come up to the house and we’ll find a way to get you home.”
The man allowed himself to be led along by the stranger. As he walked he began to realize who he was and where he lived, but the sleep-walking had led him far away from home. How long he’d been walking he had no idea – all he remembered of the night before was getting undressed and going to bed.
Two hours later the man got up from the comfortable seat in the stranger’s living room and went out to the car where his wife had come to get him.
She thanked the stranger for his kindness and escorted the man to the car.
As they drove off the stranger waved, patted his dog’s head and went back in his house. “I wonder how often that happens?” he asked his dog.
Like the man, the dog had no answer.