Wildey and I were laying under the stars, watching a meteor shower. The fire had burned down to just a few coals in a bed of ash. There was no wind. Just a million, billion stars and us, laying there looking up.
“Wildey,” I said, “I’m really starting to feel different. I mean, like really different. In my body.”
He turned his head on the ground, and looked over at me.
“I mean, I used to think in terms of how I feel physically. Like needing to relax muscles. But now it’s different. It feels like my cells themselves are relaxing. It’s completely different.”
“Yeah. I can’t even think of it the same. It occurred to me yesterday that what I’m feeling is physiologically different. Which in a funny way is helping me do it more.”
I sat for a minute.
“I’m liking this a lot.”
He nodded. He had rolled up on his side, leaning on an elbow, quietly looking at the fire, not really saying anything at all. Just listening. All of a sudden I notice what a great listener my friend Wildey has turned out to be. I mean, really notice. He says just the right thing sometimes to keep me going deeper. Sometimes he says just the right thing to make me laugh and pull me out of a spin. And sometimes HE just laughs and lets me know I have disappeared down a rabbit hole and left him standing there wondering what in the heck we are talking about.
“I love you, Wildey,” I said.
He grinned. Didn’t say anything at all.
“You know, one of the things is that I don’t feel like it’s me having to do it. Or even able to do it. I’m not even capable of it. I mean, I don’t know how to relax my cells. But somehow, now, my cells are just relaxing.”
I thought a minute. He was sitting there quietly as I nutted this out.
“No, that’s not quite right. That feels WAY disrespectful to what’s actually happening. There’s no JUST about it. My whole system is making this happen. THE whole system. Whatever that means. I don’t even know. There’s no JUST about it at all.”
We were both quiet a long time. A space long enough for three shooting stars to pass through.
“You know what? I know what it is.”
“I think I know the new game you’re talking about.” Then I had to adjust.
“No, that’s not quite right. I don’t know completely what it is – but I can see the beginnings of it. I’m not playing monopoly anymore. But now I see, I had gone into playing solitaire. Now that’s over too. Now you’ve showed up. It’s a whole new game. I don’t have to do it all alone.”
I turned my head. I was using my jacket for a pillow, and I felt the zipper on my cheek.