It was out there, in the darkness between Denver and Albuquerque, that I believe we had our last discussion, maybe a year after you died. I was camping alone, without a tent, in the cool dry Western night marveling at the stars of the Milky Way and a nebula I could see with your old hunting binoculars.
In a dream of myself lying there in my sleeping bag, my sister’s princess phone appeared suddenly on the arid grassland beside me – the very same one with the headset I cracked when a chair fell onto it while I was trying to make time with that postdoc from Edinburgh (that’s a story we’ll exchange offline). They call it a “landline” these days – we now have these wireless phones people carry around everywhere.
The phone rang – I looked around bewildered, but I answered. It was you. You said that you were sorry you couldn’t be there and wished you could be, but you were happy that I was enjoying what you wish you had done yourself.
And you said you missed me.
And I said I missed you, too.