"Unless you speak--unless you breathe life into your words--they die," I explained to my friend Anna on the very third night of our friendship. Forced together through our job, we became friends that night. Picking apart everything from Rocky, to the usefulness of garlic, to the gift of language, we bantered endlessly.
Most would find our conversation odd. Anna is a physical education teacher and she readily admits to finishing only two books throughout the duration of high school. She wasn't one to discuss literature or philosophy, but she was certainly one to discuss life. She burned with passion, but her passion seeped into the development of character, not into pages of pressed letters bound by wise sages.
I just so happened to burn for both.
And so we talked. Propped up on high stools, beneath buzzing florescents and worn paneled fans, we talked. Blood rushing to the raised vein decorating both of our foreheads, we talked. Voices fading, deepening, cracking with dryness, we talked.
And we listened.
That's when I knew she would be a significant person in my life. A friend always good for the exchange of ideas. A co-conspirator in the quest to prevent little funerals for unspoken words and nascent ideas.