All That Man Is – David Szalay

“That night Murray has a dream.

He is lying on his bed. Outside rain is falling – falling heavily and steadily. The window is open. He is lying on his bed, listening to the rain. It is like rain he might have listened to somewhere else, long ago. The room is strangely empty. There is nothing in it except the bed on which he is lying with his head at the wrong end, where his feet should be. He lies there listening to the rain and from the darkness of the bathroom, a large dog emerges – an Alsation. Panting quietly, the dog lies down on the floor next to the bed. As it lies down it knocks over a glass that is there – the sound of the glass falling and then rolling a little way across the floor. With a tiny whimper the dog yawns, and then starts to pant again. The rain is still falling. Without otherwise moving, Murray has stretched out his hand and is stroking the dog’s neck, the deep fur. The dog pants quietly. The rain falls and falls, making a puddle on the floor next to the open window.”