I am hungry, and he knows. It comes to me as an almost feeling of fullness and an almost taste of stew. The warmth I soon will feel is in me now, and I pass the time in senseless dreaming as I walk along the ridge toward home.
I smell the stew before I smell the fire, and then I see the glow of our fire and I am home. As he tries to pull my cloaks away and free me from them and from the cold I have brought in with me, so also he frees me from my dreaming. The stew is real, and it is warm inside me and he is trying to get the cloaks around my elbow. He will not get them off me because I am sitting on them, so I smack him aside and I stand and shake off the cloaks as he pulls himself into the shadow at the base of the wall.
More stew, it is good, and I drink some of the water he has carried from the stream and wash myself with some of it and rest then, sitting on the edge of the furs where we sleep. I look at him and see that he is braiding but I cannot tell what it is and he does not look at me so I throw the bowl from the stew at him. It hits his shoulder and he puts down his braiding and stands, looking at me now, angry.
He does not like when I hit him, and I threw the bowl so now he is angry. Let him be angry then, I pretend not to notice and I wave to the stew – I have had enough and he can finish it.
He picks up the bowl, bending all at his knees and very quickly rising again. He is hungry. I know he has not eaten today. He walks to the fire and he gets the stew and returns to the shadow by the wall, not looking at me as he eats.
When he has eaten he glances at me just once, very briefly, and then he takes up his braiding again. I have been watching him the whole time and I think he does not like that I saw him glance at me and I know that he is very angry with me and he is braiding my death into that string. I hope that it will not be anything I have to handle when he is done with it.
So I watch him and he braids and I begin to dream again, but not the senseless dreams that come when I am tired and alone, these are the true dreams of things that I have seen and known in the past.
He has always been near me, we were children together and so I cannot say when I first see him, he is in all my true dreams. I showed him how to throw a spear, after I had learned from going on the hunt, in the fall long ago.
He is smaller than me, and this was my first hunt so it is not strange that he did not come, even though there were many boys smaller still that did. But I will show him how the men handle their spears; I will help him so that he will be ready when he goes, because I know it will be hard for him to learn. And it is hard.
In a dream within the dream I see how he is always somewhere else when I and the other boys are trying to throw sticks as if they were real spears, trying to guess how to do it, when we had only seen the men throw them, and no one had shown us. He is near the fire, with the smaller children and the girls or he is at the river or, sometimes he is near but not playing with us, just watching.
So it is hard for him, and he only does it I think because I want him to, but he manages after all day to throw one straight, and to at least hit the tree we are aiming at, with the end of the stick and not the side, and then he does not want to throw any more. I do not think he ever did throw again.
The dream falls away from me and I am very tired from it, and from the long walk and the stew. I walk over to him and he still does not look so I grab a handful of his hair and I pull him up and shove him to the furs.
He is still angry with me and now because we are one, I am angry at myself and I hold his face with both hands and make him look at me. When he has given up on pulling my hand away he just wraps his arm over me, I do not feel angry anymore. I kiss him and he pulls closer to me, he is not angry anymore.
We are under and on top of each other and the furs and we try for a time to force our bodies into each other, as fully, as tightly as our souls are bound together and always have been, and when we are spent we sleep and there is nothing more till morning.