1. A Rough Translation

    Somewhere in the back of my mind I knew I wasn’t getting through to her.

    So I sat and waited. Waited while my words kept flowing out. Then they stopped and I waited. The words bounced around the air, hovering in and out of the ears that stared back at me and I waited. 

    Then they hung there and the new words came back at me.

    It gets hard to listen to a language you recognize without being able to completely get it. Hard in the sense of interest. You start to look around. Find props to refer to and lean on.

    But you’re/I’m alone. We are waiting for bits of each other’s language to show through and hit home. 

    I catch myself staring at a coffee pot on the counter. I turn back to the eyes that own the ears and mouth of the woman speaking to me.

    I’m not getting it. “Oh really?” comes out. 

    I clean my glasses to have something to preoccupy me for a moment. I kind of lost interest in the conversation. 

    My umph is gone. No gas in the tank. Maybe I’ll go back and attempt to break new ground in an hour or after work.

    She’s gone too. She’s smiling, but gone. Someone walks by and she says something to them and jokes so naturally and she’s off. 

    I’m left slightly relieved, slightly tired, slightly alone. Ready for a new try, eager even.

    But until then I’ll wait and retreat to a place I understand. A lone tree is braced against the wind on a green hillside and a couple of cows graze at the base of the hill. It’s not the present, but it’s a place I may even know better.