“Do you have to say your thoughts out loud for them to mean anything” Paul asked Jill on his first coffee break at work. It was in the city and his mother told him she wouldn’t drive him so he’d had to take the bus. Number 3 he thought it was. He couldn’t quite remember. Jill said “Sorry what?” Paul realized that she hadn’t really noticed him there in the break room as he was hunched behind the refrigerator a little and she was busy pouring coffee and exactly two tablespoons of both milk and sugar into her mug before she put the coffee in. He decided to repeat the question.

“How do you think” he asked. “Like everyone else I guess” she said “I have a thought and if it’s important I write it down.” “Do you have to say them out loud for them to make sense?” “Are you asking if I talk to myself?” A pause. “I guess so” he said looking down. He had a feeling this was a bad thing. “Sometimes” she said and walked out of the break room. She didn’t understand the importance of his question. She popped her head back in a moment later and his heart leaped in his chest.

“How’s your first day going so far” she asked. “Can you understand everything okay?” “Yes” he said “you were right it’s pretty basic.” “Good” she said. “Paul?” “Yes.” “Do you have to say all of your thoughts out loud to remember them?” He shook his head.

Only all of the time, Paul thought to himself but didn’t speak.