Graham Higgins Illustration - Literate Graffiti Dept.

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February 5, 2016

Sitting

It was sometime late. The rest of the house and the people in it were asleep and we sat. I maybe had some drawing going on. She was flicking about with her phone. I mention that only because otherwise there was silence.
“Know what’s nice about this?”
I was surprised. I hadn’t noticed it was nice. We’d been sitting a while, drawing, flicking about, those quiet dents in the silence. I knew anyway that it was a question she had a mind to answer, so I waited.
She must have thought about this before but it sounded like she was knitting the words together, listening to the out-loud version.
“You know, it’s quite a thing to have a friend you can sit with.”
I think I stopped drawing.
“I mean really sit with.”
Really sit with.
I like this way she has of keeping a thought so that when it’s smoothed off a bit, comfortable in her hand, she’ll rummage in wherever she’s kept it and hold it up in the light like a pebble pocketed on a shoreline drift, turn it around to look again at its form, its colours and textures.
“Knowing that you have a friend you can sit with and if you have something to say you can say it and you won’t be interrupted and you won’t be misunderstood because they’re listening to you saying it, not what someone might mean.
“About anything, and that’s OK too. Safe. And they may have something to say about it but you know they don’t feel as if they have to because they know that you know they were listening.
“Or you can sit as long as you like and nothing’s said and that’s OK too, because friends can do that.”
It made me smile, and I didn’t have to explain that either. I was glad I’d had the time to listen and that she’d thought it and said it, and I might have said something like “Mmmyeah. Thanks.”
I’m writing this here now because I was listening then there.
She knows that. Sometimes even now I’ll sit mute with nothing that much to tell myself and remember that and the smile seems to be attached. I find I’m smiling and realise what I’ve just been thinking about.
Because I know what’s really nice about it.

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