I'm in constant tension with a fantasy where I can pause any conversation, good or bad, to collect my thoughts, get outside counsel, and respond more admirably than I would in real time. The first time I wished for this was in high school, during a grim conversation about suicide. In the moment I felt under-served by my own intelligence and capacity to love. No comforting or rallying words would come to mind and day 1 of that conversation ended in sadness, with a lot of "well . . ."s hauling it along. Like many heartbreaking talks, it went several more rounds. Days later I would contribute some "I didn't mean"s and some "have you considered"s, and as the words blundered on, hope grew. But I always felt that the moment of real need had come and gone and I wished I could have delivered tighter words, earlier and all at once, by any means. I continue to wish for this all the time.

My one hesitation is that this superpower might preclude ingenuousness. It's possible no one is served in the fantasy where one side has an upper hand, even if that upper hand is time and wisdom in expression. Like, how would it feel to know that the person consoling me had access to this kind of artillery? Suddenly it seems artificial and unsporting.

Yesterday I heard Paul's epistles described as "Here's what I didn't say when I was with you." What? If Paul had delivered tight and conclusive words at Ephasus, there would be no book of Ephesians. Or any of those other thirteen books. Paul! The patchwork conversation strikes again, this time with an entire canon of the Good Book.

The more I live the less I see efficiency and love nestled happily side by side. Talk on, talkers, plan for the addendum; maybe see "messier" as "richer" for now.

_