I could listen to her for hours

“I listen to him sing, almost every morning. I listen to him sing with his new hand because some caballero chopped off the old one, and I listen to him sing and I remember that he isn’t any more real than the rest of us are, except we’re all more real, to some, than others, because of the way we come through, when we’re needed, a little like a radio tuned to just the right frequency, finding music in a sea of white noise, as though a picture were to resolve out of the black and white fuzz on an old roundtube television screen, the kind that felt like cold, smooth glass instead of strangely textured futureplastic, and the fuzzy hairs on your cheek would stand on end when you laid the side of your face to its cool surface, trying to get your eye close enough to see the three colors in each of the pixels, to make the white light become three colors, and then become white again, the way you can’t do as an adult, because you can’t focus on anything that close,” she whispers, breathless from talking so quickly.

“You’re so caught up in focusing on the things that are far away, because those are the things that will come out of nowhere and blindside you at four pm on some idle Tuesday, when you’re on your way home from work and you have to get one kid to soccer and one kid to piano and you haven’t thawed anything for dinner and the last thing you want to do is think about that pocketful of bottlecaps, lingering, unspent, turning into butterfly wings redrawn into chronomantic sigils on the dash of a car driving too fast on the Garden State Parkway, headed for Patinkin and running out of gas,” she said, wringing her hands and looking overwhelmed with eager love, those constellation eyes wide. “I listen to him sing, because he doesn’t know it, but he’ll always be my left hand man.”

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