Tall grass feels a bit too much like home. Through it, she pulls me along like she’s been here before and it wouldn’t surprise me. She talks and talks and talks. She only does it because normally I devour her every word. That’s why I get to explore Carolina fields with the prettiest girl at the university. I give my attention away better than anyone. This field, this grass are unwelcome right now. My eyes want to look down, but I know I’ll see it – my identity written on the long blades. Even without acknowledging the poking sensation in my legs, I can’t stop picturing my sister and I laying together on matted grasses. I’m trying not to go there, but I see my sister’s pretty face anyways. As I slip back into the conversation, my tour guide somehow found her way onto the topic of politics. I feel especially sick now and I almost want to think about my old house. The big trees, the solace.
Eventually, my companion maneuvers us to the river where she sits on a fallen tree by the water. Instead of sitting I walk to the threshold of the water by almost no power of my own. The beauty behind me talks now about our college’s poor response to a local emergency. A topic that would normally secure my opinion now doesn’t even provoke me to face her. I miss my family. On the other side there are white blooms hanging over the rivers frame. The long, lean branches sway in the wind and the ivory blossoms bob in unison.
“Did you hear about that?” She interrupts.
“You seem distracted. Everything ok?”
I’m given the option of sharing myself, but what do I say? Tell her that my father could name the constellations off the a river’s reflection with his young daughter on his shoulders? Something she neither cares about nor would understand. Or that I’d trade a thousand nights with her for one hour laying in the grass with them?
“I’m ok. What were you saying about the dean?”
She continues, but I’m no longer hers. I’m held captive by a string of memories. I try to remember something my Dad said about women who talk too much. Maybe something about the difference between noisy crows and doves that gaze silently at you. I wish I could remember and I wish I knew the constellations.