How do you know what you want out of life, she asked.

Our wine had arrived, but the food was still being assembled in the kitchen.

Me: I suppose it has something to do with happiness? Or, fulfillment?

I was unsure and really didn’t expect the evening to go like this, but what the hell.

Her: I don’t even know what those words mean any more. I mean, for me.

This was the artificial speculation about life that I hated. The not knowing of what you want, or, the not knowing of how to ponder time, wait.

Me: if you’re just quiet enough I think it will come to you. There’s a lot of noise.

I could tell she didn’t really know what I meant.

The waiter dropped off the food just as she was starting to say something, whatever it was, she kept it to herself.

This was place known to make an excellent roasted chicken, we shared it, and thankfully, it came already dis-assembled and barely resembled the shape of a bird.

Later, espresso. The conversation had turned to other topics. Our minds were already on how to get home, what time it was, if we really needed coffee this late. I paid.

Outside on the street it was quiet. It had rained while we were eating and the sidewalks had a sheen to it, reflecting the lights of the street. The air smelled clean. We decided to walk.