Tell me about that football game, that band you’ve adored since high school, that autobiography—really?—that kept you up all night.
Tell me how you negotiated a deal at the office. How you got a deal at the thrift store. Tell me how you stood your ground and got what you wanted. I want that for you, too.
Tell me stories about your coworker’s cats, your kid’s teacher, your cousin in England, your brother’s boyfriend. I don’t know them, but that’s not the point.
Tell me your favorite conspiracy theory, your alien theory, your theory about God and the Big Bang and the connections between the stars. Tell me everything you know about Galileo.
Tell me about that video game, the one I don’t play, because I don’t play video games. Tell me which character you’re playing, no, not just the name, their whole backstory, yes, I mean it.
Tell me how excited you are for pumpkin spice lattes. Or IPAs. Or avocado toast. Wax eloquent on your favorite apple variety (unless it’s Red Delicious, because—no, wait, tell me that, too).
Tell me about your published stories, your reviews, your interview requests and book signings. You deserve good things.
Tell me how the sun on your skin grounds you, how the wind lifts your heart. Tell me that the rain, for you, is nothing like tears.
Tell me how it felt to kiss that one person—you know the one I mean—for the first time, how your heart exploded in your chest. That’s what mine is doing right now, listening to you.
Mudita: the pleasure that comes from delighting in other people’s well-being