Warm and slow comfort. Then private pain like being scolded, or a slap to the face. Blueberries. They glint on the label like indigo gems. Moonlight.
“I saw a man I used to work with today.” He says, cutting into her sentence. At this, she starts then resets her physiology for listening. He had been a complete mute before this moment.
“You did?” She says.
“He bought me this after telling me he got fired while his mom was dying of cancer.” He, oblivious to her reaction, picks at the knots in his crotch. A hollow night wind ruffles the spare grass on the forest floor. Her skirt flutters upward with such magesty, but he does not notice. So intensely does he stare into the moonlight. “I guess he started drinking a lot after that. Came into work drunk and they fired him.”
“That’s sad.” She says. He grunts and sends a few bubbles to the bottom of the glass bottle.
“He wanted me to come over, have a bonfire, but I told him I was busy. His face grew dark and he left without saying another word to me.”
“That’s sad.” She says.
“He just left like we were strangers. He didn’t even ask my number or anything. Just like-” His voice cracks and he gives up on the rest.
“If my mom got cancer I don’t know what I would do. Probably lie in bed and cry my eyes out. I think that hopefully, eventually I would get over it, but I wouldn’t want to. I just think about how hard I cried when Mitsy, my cat, died when I was eleven ...” He hears little through the fog, but watches her speak still. How lucky he feels to have someone close.