So much talk.
Talk on the walk before the heat of the day drove us inside. Talk around the breakfast table as the water ran in the pond. Talk in the kitchen and over snacks, talk standing and sitting, talk about the past (the old box of childhood photographs came out) and of the future (plans for my garage addition and an offer to help build it).
When I was a teenager I’d walk to Bernie and Leland’s house, often rather stormy and thinking up all I wanted to say, all I needed to get off my chest, everything they had space for that seemed too big for my life or my sense of self. I remember them listening so much– having an astonishing capacity to let me let it all out. And they reminded me of the short play I wrote for an assignment in highschool based entirely off their rearranged dialogue, how they sat in the theatre and heard their own words repeated back to them.
We talked about a former president and the current pandemic, about homeopathy and religion and family and home. We could have kept on talking, but the cat needed to be found and brought in, and we all needed to go to bed.
I can remember now, though I had forgotten all about it, staying later than this at their house and then walking myself home in the absolute pitch dark, feeling my way up the gravel road and just barely making out the trees that told me where I was and how far there was to go. Leland always offered to drive me home when it got late, and sometimes I said yes, but sometimes all that talk was enough of a lamp in the darkness and I wasn’t ready to rejoin the rest of the world just yet, and a slow walk home with nothing but words and memory was exactly right.