“What are you doing out here?” I’d heard the door. I didn’t have to open my eyes to know it was her. I was laying on my back on the front walk, letting the cold from the stones seep through my flannel shirt and my skin and my subcutaneous fat, and settle in the space in my chest.
Moping, I didn’t answer. Sinking into the earth, and failing even at that. “Thinking.”
“It is?” It was an honest question; I hadn’t really felt it. Autumn was coming on slow, but it was coming.
I felt tiny hands on face. “Wake up, Daddy. Bye, Daddy.”
“Bye?” I opened my eyes and my daughter was right there, bent over my face and giggling.
“She wanted to go to the park,” my spouse explained. “I thought maybe you could get some writing done.”
I sat up like a glacier retreating. “Thanks.”
“Do you have something to work on?”
“I’m open to suggestion,” I sighed more than answered, and she gave me a peck on the cheek.
“You’ll think of something,” she insisted, confident. “Remember the conversation we had earlier?” Then she and the baby were gone, and the house rang with her silence.
I turned the earlier conversation over in my head and wondered what I had to add. Sure enough, my thoughts sorted themselves like salt through a shaker and I hurriedly began to type.