Evening walk when we first walked together
On the first walk, we walked around the block. It was evening and quiet and it wasn't our block but we walked around it, stepping over the cracks where the sidewalk was heaved up and broken. It was obvious, but only later, and we said nothing of feelings and nothing of us, careful to avoid even the appearance of speaking in plural. My hands were in my pockets. She wished she'd brought the dog.
We talked about the houses and the different types of houses and bricks and yards. We talked about the porches we liked, and house colors and gardens. We walked slow, talked slow, leaving steps between our sentences and space between us. We walked down the empty street in the evening and we were together and I loved her, but didn't want to. She was leaving and loving wasn't a part of her eight-year plan. She was leaving and I only wanted to speak of loss and lostness. Only knew how to. I knew how to say how light leaked out of the world, how to articulate longing thrashed and lashed to impossible professions, but not how to hear "I love you."
So we walked, that first walk, talking of other things, separate and independent things, but we walked together. We turned right, into the sun as it tipped down, and right again, around the block, walking back to where we started. We turned past a long hedge, passed little houses where we might one day live, houses like the houses where we will live together, with yards where we might dig in the dirt and porches where we might sit together content, happy, saying good morning, good morning, good life, good day.
We walked past a tree and I plucked a twig, twiddling it and looking down. She watched the sidewalk where it cracked and I walked into a spider's web, the long strands of spider silk stretching sticky and stuck to my face. I stopped, taking off my glasses and, embarrassed -- a clutz - an oaf - an idiot! -- wiped it away. When I put my glasses back on she was looking at me, and it was obvious, but only later.