It was the radio that started it. The song lifted the portcullis of memories associated with adolescence and led right up to the present. It came to him that not so long ago, he had let her hear it.
He winced. Thoughts of what he had shared generously in the past came crashing in. Favourite songs shared with a click and a paste of a Youtube link, likes, dislikes, views of the world articulated — an avalanche of idiosyncracies — and in the cold present light suddenly deemed too fragile and precious for exposure. Like 15th-century tapestries now carefully preserved in a darkened gallery of a museum, protected from the blanching power of spotlights.
But that’s what people do. These days, that’s what everyone does. Then came the thought. “It’s just Jane.” It came with fresh relief. Just Jane. “I’m safe with her. ”