There are men whose sadness has lain open before me.
Inexplicably, over the years I have been lured less frequently by hearty, easy laughter and more often by the silent wonder with which some men have watched their own disappointment and loss. I pride myself that I can name it when I see it in others – the landscape their eyes follow, the story they start to tell and then stop.
I become bored by the party atmosphere when it covers over the paths by which individuals got there. I would prefer the spot before the fireplace, the sidewalk leading out into the night. Few imaginings hold me like the snow that might fall upon me and another man cleaning our cars together, our eyes catching the gestures by which we each sweep off the evidence of the hours we spent away from them.
I have driven away into the moods of a January day so many times. I have wanted the strange pleasure of the phone call, the message that comes from another corner where a man finds he regrets his winter a little less for sharing it.