His mind wonders, as his body wanders. Traipsing through the night; his faithful, four-legged companion by his side, straying only now and then as nature calls and calls again. He trusts in his master's destination, traded for faith in the company of a friend. A silent understanding exists between the two, but understand it differently, they each do.
One mind is brushing through the cold, damp grass; observed by owls, beneath brazen bats dancing in the sparing starlight. Mirrored moonlight ripples within the reeds, revealing mallard's respite and resting memories, waiting to be awoken. He leaves trails in the mud, as mud leaves trails on him.
The other imprisons itself, by wondering too far. His eyes see shadows, shifting in the night; his ears hear whispers in the wind and he smells gas, though there is no stove out here. Strings are tied to his ankles, the other ends trailing through the foliage and mud, snagging now and then.
Eventually, his mind shall return home, freed to steer its body there too; his friend inclined to follow, lest nature calls one final time. When that time comes, the wandering will cease, temporarily at least, but the wondering will ever go on. If he'd paid more heed to the owls and the bats, over mortgage and tax, he'd still be here now, just with happier, true memories, to look back on.
Memories will reawaken, innocence rekindled, much unlike a match. Something as small and insignificant as a man and his overweight dog taking a twilight walk in the park will one day be cast aside by time’s hands.
And yet, this flame will forever flicker, as even the timeless abyss of the universe, in its infinite horror, cannot deny that there once here wandered a fire, burning into the night.
But, for now, they remain where they belong. With the owls and the bats, moonlight, stars, and drowning grass. Sleeping giants, now naked with winter, wistfully wonder what wandering would be, if not the purpose of those, each night, that they see.