When it’s right, every meeting is accompanied by a sense of urgency: an impatience to know everything about the other, phrased in a manner that’s not so much intrusive as it is endearing. You come into the room wanting to hear about this other person’s toenails, and not being bothered when you get to the topic of infectious diseases. You smile at each other over your menus, delighting in the giddiness of the next days that will be just like this one. You jot down little mental notes, “Tomorrow, I can ask him about grade school.”
It takes a while before you get to favorite colors and backstories of family functions that preceded the first one he invites you to. It takes a while before you realize that there is no novelty to the experiences logged as topics of conversation between the two of you, but it’s in the telling, the mouth moving behind them that moves you to keep listening.