Last night around, oh, I don’t know, 2:00 in the morning, I suddenly needed very badly to talk to someone. I had just returned from taking a short walk. It was an interesting walk. I suppose it was in the 40s, but what with the wind and all, who knows how cold it really was. I tell you, though, there’s nothing like being out there that late at night while the world around you sleeps. The wind tried to snatch my hat away, settling instead for making me gasp when it blew into my face. I walked through it all, drinking deeply from and keeping warm with a thermos full of tea until I was good and dead behind the eyes.
But back at the house, I sat down heavily and stared at the telephone. There were a couple of people I knew on Pacific time, but I didn’t want to think about the west coast just then. Then I remembered: Fitzy was in Colorado. Of course. A 2-hour difference wasn’t that bad. Anyway, I had a lot I wanted to say to him, and until that moment I lacked the courage I needed to do it.
His brother’s machine picked up. The outgoing message was sing-songy and annoying. I pulled the phone away from my ear until I heard the beep and then I left a rambling, incoherent message. I hate leaving messages for people. I always sound like such a tool.
I lay back on my bed, fully clothed and on top of the blankets, and covered my face with a pillow. I thought about the wind outside, how it had pushed me and made me lean into it for balance. I can tell you why we think of the wind as a living thing, if you like. It’s because it has a voice. It howls around the corners of buildings and whispers past your ears. It sighs over the ground and bustles on its way around your legs. If I thought it would tell me something I wanted to hear, I might have asked it a few things.