“Did I tell you the story about the brazier incident?” he asks, chuckling a little to himself.
“I don’t think so,” she says. She isn’t sure, really, which stories he’s told her by now at all. It seems to her that his stories have filled her up, overflowing her own stories, left unsaid.
“I remember in school,” he says, “we’d read aloud. I hated it. And the teachers obviously could tell, because they generally, mercifully gave me a character with very few lines.
“So we’re reading aloud, and I see something…”
She stops listening, her thoughts overriding his words, and wonders idly if she’s just like everyone else. Waiting for her time to speak. Wanting to fill each pause and silence in conversation with her own thoughts. If this is her, this very moment, being that which she resents— not wanting to listen, but only wanting to be able to tell one of her stories. Wanting to share one of her moments.
“… And I say, ‘Glimmer from the flaming brassiere,’…”
She wonders if he’d even notice if she never really spoke. If she just smiled and nodded a few times as she sipped her iced coffee. She wonders if all the people, in all the world, are sharing all these stories with one another, each one barely skimming, barely listening to one another, waiting for their opportunity to share.
“So, yeah, instead of a flaming pit thing, I said bra on fire.” He laughs, looking for her response.
“I get it,” she smiles. Taking another sip of coffee. “That’s pretty funny.”
And she pushes her own stories aside, smiling and waiting for his next.