I wait for the sound of his words

Johanna Shapiro, PhD

I wait for the sound of his words, expecting them to drop like shards of light on my own confusion. Still he sits there, without speaking. Perhaps he is collecting his thoughts. Chin in hand, he seems puzzled, even ten years later. Then, as if pressing a button, he begins to speak. He remembers he had the day off. It was a typically beautiful southern California day, sun glinting off the Pacific Ocean, waves begging companionship. So he decided to use this free day, this day outside time and space, to go surfing. He remembers also that when he came home, it was already late in the afternoon, the sun almost used up. He can’t remember why he switched on the TV, he didn’t often watch because the sound was broken, but that day he did. He watched without sound in the fading rays of the sun as the city burned and died. Maybe he remembers more, but now, again, he is silent. There is no sound between us.