He tells me about his day, about his students that are troublesome. In my mind, I trace the lines that begin their etching at the corner of his eyes, fainter now than when he smiles, how the gentle movement of his head while he speaks causes the light to play with the dark of the space and in his silhouette, filtering through his dark facial hair and causing his caramel eyes to sparkle in contrast.
He tells me about how he tricks his students, the ones who don't listen, by randomly saying things, truly random statements, while he lectures, then calls on the non-listeners to repeat what he just said.
From my vantage point on the bed, laying on top of the covers perpendicular to the place we rest our heads at night, flopped down in emotional and physical exhaustion from the last few days' shitstorm of unfortunate circumstances and heartbreaking realizations, I blink slowly at him, at his story.
He blinks back mid-sentence, his words slowing to a crawl for a moment as something registers, his eyes widen then drop down to the floor as he switches gears, changes the subject.
He is mid-story about a similar struggle at school, about not feeling heard, about not being able to make a horse drink, and the words I'm trying not to speak are written all over my face in lines and shadows the mirror opposite of what I see upon his.
I blink. I stare.
"...and I know that those are flaws I have too, and I'm trying to work on that. I understand better now, what it's like, and I'm working on understanding their perspective, too."
His eyes shift around while he speaks this truth, his truth, as I watch the shadows of the early evening light deepen the hollows between the space of his eyelashes and cheekbones.
I close my eyes without rolling them back and I gently nod, once.
My friend Heather hosts this wonderful linky each Tuesday, encouraging people to just write their surroundings or a small moment of their day. I decided to join in this week.