The first time I dialled your number I felt a skipping in my chest
the skip that comes with talking to strangers
the skip that tells me that I’m strapped into the rollercoaster, ready or not for the ride.
You answered, and your voice was like a cave,
deep and warmish and mossy
with echoes trapped inside the dark spaces
like a cave to keep me safe from the storm.
I spoke to you and my own voice was like cobblestones,
cracked and scattered
strewn out across a much-trodden road and kicked into the gutter,
like cobblestones with missing bits, crumbling from the elements.
You told me that things would get better from here on out,
that I’d made the first step and
that you would talk to me for as long as it took to get me from one place to another one
or longer, even.
You spoke to me about large things
responsibility and Ferris wheels and distant nebulas
you spoke to me about small things
garden mice and sub-atomic particles and how many spoonfuls of sugar you take with your tea.
I spoke to you about things sometimes
calories and the side-effects of capitalist ideologies
sharpeners with the screws lying on the table and the blades nowhere to be found
about people with so much to say that they talk in their sleep
and how I was never one of them.
Each time that I called you we spoke about new things
I was surprised at the number of conversation topics people can find in a day
I spoke to you about picking mulberries and I laughed when you told me you’d never tasted one.
You spoke to me about windsurfing and thermal currents
about how birds seek them out and they expend a lot of energy at first
but then they find that bubble of warm air and then they’re just gliding
And once they’ve found it, it’s the easiest thing ever to fly.
You told me that there’s no such thing as silence. That everything is noisy, if you listen closely enough.
I called you less and less often
I was listening to big things like hot fronts and cold fronts
I was noticing all sorts of things, like new jobs and new places to live and how there are cities in Europe where they share all their bicycles
and isn’t that nice?
I heard once that all people are made out of stardust
I’m calling now to tell you that I think that it’s the other way around:
I think that my favourite parts of space are the signals in telephones cables
and how things can change as truthfully as winter turns to summer
I think the stars are lucky to be made of us.