Safe Places

She telephones Utah, reasoning the date and time, day of the week into her conversation. He has rested, might be resting still. Snow shine, small matters to report. She covers each thing. Bathing. Walking the presiding evidence as shakenly as one would move without a cane through things. Talks of relatives as though their lives were not replete with miniscule details that fashion volumes. She helps him reconstruct the day so far. She says the same thing she just said with variation, filling out the blanks if there are blanks. Having reached the topic basketball, in which her fluency is worthy of a prize. The use of names, a chant. Speaks slowly as though mouthing prayer to some considerate, familiar God. The air conditioning goes on midway between some syllables. She and he enjoy a wavelength. She thus paces the talk, pronouncing what is said. The day was right to call, the other relatives have left his town. He is unnoticeably alone, receives her conversation well. She gentles both their ways past sadness that would come of letting him recall a fleck of what he was. Fills him in on what is true. He might support her, though it's not his habit to be obvious. As support's supposed to be quiet. She mentions breaking of the car she purchased from his brother, now deceased. A car that would have harmed her children. His remarks remain inaudible as far away as in this room. She's waiting to put on the game between the Heat and Knicks. Her plan for Sunday afternoon. The date and time as real as any thunder or residual. She knows he picks up on the flow of story. Something to attend. The tangibles can form a tale. She tells him we will share a car. He shows an interest in details. Food enters the conversation. Her voice lilts in a way I know he finds familiar. Very much her mother's child. Sing-talking all the day's pronouncements.

Semiautomatic love, reading odometers for fun, comparing notes, comparing distances

Sheila E. Murphy | A Relay
Contents | Mudlark No. 8