He held secret conversations with statues. All the while that we roamed he stood silent beside one prone figure, making as if to melt it down into its solitude and become one with the stone forever. He held its eyes. His fingers coursed with the electricity of hidden dialogues, poised, two feet from the statue’s hands.

I wonder if it heard all that he must have been trying to tell it.

He was not a cold man. Crooked teeth shone through smiles the color of velvet, and the intensity of his stare -- his clear brown eyes shook with heat. He was a slight, muscular appendage to the work, one swift frame run with veins crouched down on a hardwood floor. Looking and looking and looking.

He glanced up at me in between, when I crept up from behind to put warm hands on the shoulders I feared might be turning to bronze in the heat of a dozen spotlights. He glanced and he smiled, and muttered his wonder, placing one of his hands on my own before he went back. Right back to his work of stone.

I think I lost him there.

I returned to that room days later to find that the statue looked less right without him. That he’d filled in its holes and formed some kind of synergy in the depths of their mutual silence. I let the statue hang with weight on the words he had never offered to me, but it would not talk, no matter how much I stared or tried to put into silence the things he could not make with a glance.

I was never very good at conversing with those who would not respond, be they statues or men of stone. And so I let this conversation that I had been holding in secret -- perhaps that even he had not truly realized the depths of -– fade away. When he never called again I let it go; I let him go...

Ever changing, I was destined to be drawn to a man more moved than a sculpture.

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