April 29, 2021
It's green, like Ireland but not so overwhelming because it's just a chunk of space, not a panoramic state of being and I can only see it from this window where I work. I have coffee with Bob on good days because we migrate just past dawn. "I can't ever sleep past sunrise", he tells me when it's mostly still dark. I tell him the same, even with blackout curtains and I need to go to bed earlier. We remember when we could sleep 'til noon on Saturdays but got up aching from too much bed. I know about his grandsons and he knows I have a daughter and the words we speak carry very little weight.
The weight is in the silence. I know him by the gravel in his voice and the way he crosses the lawn and once I thought I saw him walking but can't say for sure. I didn't call out because we're curb bound without a mask and I was only pulling weeds, but the slope of an old man's shoulders might match the his pace. Later I say I thought I saw him walking and he laughs and says he thought he saw me pull into the driveway week before last. I ask was it a red car and he says yes but this neighborhood has more red than most.
I'm leaving in a few weeks and I want to tell him bye, but good-bye weighs more than I can carry. Instead I tell my upstairs neighbor although I note he's neglected to tell me. I know he's leaving anyway. I can hear him packing. I'd like to have coffee with Bob, one more early morning and I wonder if I should ask to come around the big white fence and sit at a table that is probably just like mine.