a friend

A friend can be a crack in the ceiling where you trace the features of a character you once met in a book that you forgot to to return to the library in the town where you once lived where you no longer have an address.

Or a someone on a bus who comes out of their lonely silence to offer you a gift of companionship and you ride together for a while knowing you will likely never see that person again and you will never be in their debt and yet you are grateful 

or the silence itself 

reflexive 

and as deep and 

bottomless 

as a cold quarry pond. 

Deeper than any still water 

and deeper than that. 

You can hear the whistle of your nervous system as it races to complete each thought and you know you are not hearing it all 

nor catching every nuance. 

And then you breathe in and realize you have been waiting for a rush of sound to release you from this crush of waiting. 

A friend could sit there beside you on the boardwalk bench, 

unexpectedly still wet from the condensation of the cool night before 

and wait for you to acknowledge their presence 

Understanding that if you do not know them it is because you are deep in the machinations of your own tangle of thoughts 

Lost perhaps 

And you need 

to find your way home 

before 

you can open your mouth 

to speak 

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